Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Week-Long No Talking Challenge

This family isn't talking for a week to learn how to communicate better and help the kids get along. #parenting

Our house is quiet this morning. In fact, I was a little nervous when I woke up this morning and the sound of birds was the only thing I heard outside my window. Generally, I would have woken up to the sound of boys arguing over cereal, bowls, TV channels or just anything in general. Why are we all being quiet? Why are we vowing to not talk other then when it is absolutely essential for the next week. Well, the short answer is because I said so, but the long answer goes so much deeper than that.

We have forgotten how to communicate with each other. The house became one constant battle with the boys yelling and insults being thrown at every turn. So, I came up with a way to make them think before they "speak." Now, it seems like too much work to throw an insult at their brothers. Instead, they focus on just getting their point across or asking a question.

So, armed with dry erase boards, DS notepads and computer word programs, we aim to find a new way to communicate with each other. A way without vicious words and screaming so whoever is louder wins. For the next week, there will only be talking when I am teaching and they are answering a school related question. I have also given them permission to talk when we go to classes in the co-op or with other kids outside our home. Other than that, there will be silence.

How do I enforce it? Simple. I made it one of our rules. If they break the rule on purpose then they have consequences. If it is a simple slip because they forget, especially in these first few days, we just remind them and move on. I had a slip up this morning and had to amend the rules when I realized that dogs can't read. So now we are allowed to talk to the animals.

This is not the first time I have challenged the boys like this. This summer on our 50 day road trip, they were unplugged. With the exception of the one communal movie we watched in the tent together each night on my computer, they had no access to electronics, and they found so many new and exciting ways to play together and alone. This should be an interesting journey, and I am interested to see where it takes us. I'll be sure to post an update in a few days, and then again at the end to see how it worked for us.

Have you ever tried a no talking challenge with your family?