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15 Clever ways to convince your kids to shut up

Mom meltdown


Tighten those braces

Need an afternoon off? Perfect timing, her braces need tightening! The next time she has an orthodontist appointment you are guaranteed an afternoon of quiet. Take advantage of it with a good book — or at least a good nap.


Tooth Fairy

Unfortunately you can only use this one once in a while, but if you are expecting a visit from the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Santa anytime soon? Remind your chatty kids that said special character will not visit homes that are too loud.


Peanut butter

This one is particularly effective if you’d like some lunchtime quiet. Make your kids the most awesome peanut butter sandwich for lunch — with extra peanut butter. And nothing to drink.



Who doesn’t love a mouthful of big, sticky marshmallows? Well, most adults don’t, but think of the time it will take your kids to eat their way through a bag. And how quiet it will be. Ahhh…


Bag of markers

This one is not for the faint of heart. When you are truly desperate for quiet and reeling from the constant chatter in your house, this one is guaranteed to work every time. Have your kids strip down to undies or swimsuits and hand them each a bag of markers. Send them out to the backyard and let them play tattoo parlor. Just remember to use the washable markers.



When all else fails and you are miserable because the kid just will not stop talking, it’s time to vacuum. See, it’s not that vacuuming is fun or relaxing, but it’s noisy. That kid can be right next to you and chattering, but all you hear is the whoosh of your incredibly loud vacuum. Now you know why June Cleaver vacuumed every day.


Chatty chores list

For those times when you are truly at your wit’s end from the constant chatter, keep a special list of chores for chatty kids. Give a few warnings, of course… but if they are still chatting up a storm, start assigning. Some of our favorite ideas for chores for chatty kids include scrubbing the bathroom floor with an old toothbrush, alphabetizing the spice rack, folding Dad’s boxers or briefs, picking dog hair out of the carpet by hand or counting out individual pieces of gravel in the backyard. Guaranteed to shut them up.


Fertile fun house

As a very last resort, try the “fun house” threat. This is especially a good one for middle children or the baby of the family — both kinds of kids probably don’t have any interest in another sibling. Tell them that the way families are “chosen” to have more kids in them is if the house is loud and seems like a fun place to grow up. When the stork hears tons of talking, he usually decides to drop off a new kid. To stay. Obviously this only works until that Family Life class in fifth grade.

Still can’t keep the kids from chatting your ear off? Remind yourself that they are only little for a short amount of time, and that once they’re teenagers you’ll be lucky to get a text now and then, let alone a complete sentence. And try that taffy trick again, just in case.

More parenting humor

5 Mother’s Day truths
A letter from the Tooth Fairy
Diary of a mom: I stopped nagging for a month

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