Talking Too Much at School

3:45 pmin Articles, Ask the Coach Rosemary Strembicki

Girls talking

My kindergartener’s teacher has told me that my daughter is talking a bit too much in the classroom.  She’s not being disruptive but the teacher thought maybe I could work with her at home to learn how to control herself a little more especially as she gets ready to move to first grade.  I’m not sure how to handle this.  She does talk a lot at home but how do I know if that’s just her personality or something I should work on?

 

Five and six year olds have so much to say.  They’ve realized the power of their words and, for girls especially, the social interaction they can generate.  But having a classroom of chatty five year olds can drive a teacher crazy and often teachers will look to parents for help in keeping the chatter down.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Have a conversation with the teacher to get a better understanding of when the talking is inappropriate or distracting to her and the students in her class.  Is your daughter just reacting to an exciting learning environment or is she engaging in social talk that overpowers those around her?
  • Talk to your daughter about the value of listening as well as talking and be attentive when she talks to encourage meaningful verbal interaction.
  • Try not to stifle her, let her know that you want to know what she has to say but sometimes the time isn’t right.  Ask her to “hold that thought” and be sure to come back to her to get it.
  • Engage her in activities at home that teach turn taking and waiting like board games.
  • Have family discussions whenever possible, at dinner or in the car, so she can practice waiting and listening.

Balancing the needs of the classroom environment and each individual student can be a challenge for any teacher.  What’s important is to honor your daughter for whom she is and help her learn to control her impulses so she can be a positive influence in the class.  All it takes is practice.

Questions to consider:

  • How comfortable am I with the teacher’s assessment?
  • What do I model for her?
  • What small changes can I make to help her practice conversation skills?

Conversation starters:

  • Conversation is as much about listening as it is talking.  You’re great at expressing yourself.  I think you have that mastered.  Now let’s focus a little more on the listening part.  Can you think of some fun ways we could practice?
  • I love your spontaneity and the way you share your thoughts and stories with me all the time.  But it’s also important to know that sometimes we need to hold our thoughts and stories – like when the teacher or others are talking – and give them a chance to talk while we listen.  How about we practice taking turns listening and talking with each other. 

 

 

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