How to Make a Kid Shut Up

There’s a horrible reality about parenting. Sometimes we wish our kids would just shut the hell up.

A child who has your attention will talk continuously and it’s usually about something like “My Little Pony” or Minecraft. You, as a loving parent (who wants to keep future therapy bills to a minimum) will smile and nod and do your best to keep up. Yes, because a child who is telling you A VERY IMPORTANT STORY will stop occasionally to make sure you are listening so you can’t zone out and make a mental list of shoes you’d like to buy. That’s why you listen and keep listening until you can distract the child long enough to escape the room.

I have found a way to stop all of that.

It happened this morning when both of my girls woke up from the most OUSTANDING DREAMS.

Listening to your kids talk about their DREAMS is particularly maddening because you want to call BS on them the whole time.

“Wait, why are YOU having 3 hour long dreams about beautiful cotton-candy gardens while I dream about falling off buildings? WHY?”

Plus, you know they’re making half of that stuff up.

My girls were launching into what I knew was going to be painfully long descriptions of their dreams when I said, “Lucy, I remembered the funniest thing yesterday. It happenend when you were a baby.”

That’s all it took.

They both stopped, smiled and geared up for “Stories about ME,” which is everyone’s favorite thing to talk about anyhow.

“Lucy, when you were little we were on a trip and Aunt Lesley’s pug Pogo was sleeping right outside our door. He was snoring and you WOULD NOT go to sleep because you were SURE there was a monster in the hall!”

What followed was an outburst of giggles and cries of, “Tell another one! Tell another one about ME!”

So I told them about the time that Emma named her right hand Juanna and her left hand Juanna’s Mom ¬†and how Lucy use to call her fingers “The Nippy Friends.” I told them about the time Emma ate so many sweet potatoes that she turned orange and how Lucy said “Hello” when she was only 3 months old. We finished it with everyone’s favorite story: When Emma Was Potty-Training & Pooped on the Xylophone.

By then, we were at school. They were smiling and laughing when they jumped out of the car, completely unaware that they’d been manipulated.

Keep this in mind the next time your kids want to talk about Ultimate Spiderman or have another long¬†dream that they HAVE to tell you about. Just dig up some lovely “When You Were A Baby” story and share it with them. You’ll probably enjoy it, too. And if you run out of good ones, you can borrow the story about Emma pooping on the xylophone.



  1. My 7yo usually wants to be reassureed I am listening, so, she’ll ask, “what did I just say?” Gets me all the time! I’ll have to try the baby story telling. Thank you!

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