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Talkative Kindergartener

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My kindergarten daughter is too social (talkative) in class. How can I help her stop this habit that gets her into trouble? I think part of the problem may be due to the teacher. The class does a worksheet at the beginning of class and is given too much time to complete it, which means my active, social daughter loses interest.

A: Social little girls love to talk to their friends at school. Unfortunately, this is one habit that can lead to continuing problems with their teachers over the years if a child doesn't learn when it is appropriate to talk. Now would be an excellent time to nip this habit in the bud.

Kindergarten is a time for children to learn how to handle the school environment. They have to master such things as raising their hands to ask questions, staying with a task until it is done, listening to the teacher, following directions, and behaving appropriately. And, of course, the children should begin learning how to curb their impulses to socialize at any time.

Some kindergarten teachers devote way too much time to pencil-and-paper activities, making it very difficult for young children to remain in their seats and concentrate. This certainly could be part of the problem your daughter is having. Unfortunately, the teacher is not likely to change her approach. Why don't you and your daughter brainstorm ideas for ways she could avoid socializing at the start of the class? Could she simply get out her crayons and color or look at a book when her work is done?

Once you and your daughter have some ideas about how she could curb her tendency to socialize at the beginning of class, the two of you should run them by her teacher. Then, the teacher will know the child is trying to limit her socialization and may even come up with some other ideas.

It will take awhile to modify your child's behavior. After she is handling the start of the class better, follow the same technique in helping her curb her tendency to socialize in other classroom situations. Hopefully, there is some time when it is appropriate for her to socialize with her classmates. Both you and the teacher should always let your daughter know how proud you are of the way she is learning to behave in class.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


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