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?


  1. This sounds like a good idea. I feel like we are in a similar rut sometimes. I would love to see how this plays out!

  2. Sounds like an interesting challenge. I know my kids couldn't handle it. I can't keep them quiet for 5 mins. I tell David to be quiet and he says "I don't know how to be quiet" Sigh

  3. This seems like such a great idea and I bet it brings more peace to the house. I'm interested to know how it goes.

  4. Well it'd be hard to not talk since M is just learning. However I could definitely see how it's helpful for older kids!

  5. I absolutely love this and can not wait to hear about your results with this challenge. I think it would be a bit difficult for my 5yr old, who is still learning to write, but it would certainly help with a ton of sibling arguments around here!

  6. This is a great idea! I would love to try this with my two. I am so tired of the constant fighting! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. No challenge here. It's me, my non-verbal daughter and our dog. I do a lot of talking to myself though. My ex has been staying with us for a little while & I catch myself making situational statements for him, just because I'm so used to doing it, as part of my daughter's program.

  8. Oh, man — no way that would pass in our house! My husband and daughter wouldn't be able to keep quiet!

  9. WOW I think this is a unique and creative idea. I don't know that I could get mine to actually follow the rule LOL

  10. Personally, I've never done it! But, I doubt anyone in my house wold follow the rules, they'll be creative any work around them.

  11. There is no way our family could complete a no talking challenge. My husband and 4yo are some chatty Cathys! I, on the other hand, could definitely do it. I love quiet.

  12. This is an interesting challenge and I look forward to hearing how it goes. I get so tired of my children yelling at each other and just being mean.

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