So parents evening survived with glowing reports on both kids, reading, writing and numeracy skills, but… James is a chatterbox, well tell me something I don’t know. he talks constantly at home, sometimes to me, often at me and if all else fails to himself.
Only now it seems this is a real problem. Unlike my daughter who was speaking fluently by 20 months, my son barely uttered a word until he was 3 years old, nursery teachers commented how different he was from his talkative sister, oh how times have changed!
Coming from my family where the women in particular are famed for the speed, volume and quantity in which they speak he didn’t stand a chance, I recently came across this old school report of my own, say’s it all really.
In past years teachers have commented that he contributes well to conversations, that he is sociable and a character but now it appears sociable has turned to disruptive and resulted in several desk moves to try and stop him from chatting to friends and disrupting others.
I’m sure this is not unusual for an 8 year old boy, and my initial instinct was to think what does the teacher know (actually probably quite a lot, she is an experienced teacher), after all what parent takes any criticism of their child well?
Some of her speech I think was designed to give my son who was present a fright that his parents were being made aware of the situation and hopefully be enough to get him to curb his talkativeness. She did however made a good point that he is bright and able but now is the time to focus as brains will not get you everywhere, hard work is also needed and a little less conversation.
The question remains then, apart from talking to my son about this and asking him to try and talk less in class, how do you change what is fundamentally in his nature to chat?
Well after a long evenings discussion, googling and worry here’s what we’ve come up with so far.
1. More physical activity, my son has bundles of energy and already attends cubs and jogging club but he has decided he would like to give badminton a try, I am hoping using up some of his energy outside of school might make him calmer and more focused in the classroom.
2. Dropping drama group ( not as a punishment this was a joint decision), both my children have attended a drama group for a while and whilst enjoying it have no wish to pursue drama or acting as a career or hobby. Whilst it has given them confidence it has also I feel given them a believe that they should be wild and whacky and more importantly heard! Great if you want to be a reality show star not so great in the classroom when a teacher is trying to quieten down 33 children.
3. More focused and less gadget time at home. We are all guilty in our house of being attached to laptops or tablets and whilst you would think this would be a quiet activity not so for my son, he becomes immersed in games and gives a running commentary or speaks to the screen. More time sitting around a table doing an activity or even just building lego together I’m hoping will encourage an ability to focus quietly or with relevant conversation.
4. This one’s for me, pay attention to what he’s saying and if it’s nonsensical or just too much actually stop him, rather than my usual response of either tuning out or just responded with a yeah, uh-huh. Get him to either slow down and explain (he has a habit of beginning stories half way through) or point out that now is not a good time to talk but we can speak later over dinner/before bed etc.
5. Love him and remind him he is a intelligent, well behaved boy and that all I and the teacher want is for him to be able to make the most of what he can be, and hope he listens!
6. Buy a gag?
Please if anyone has any great hints or tips I’m all ears 😉