Talking to Themselves
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Talking to Themselves
My 6-year-old son has recently started doing something odd: After he says something
to me, he then whispers it again, word for word, to himself, sometimes even twice. He
does this, not with every statement, but many times a day. The oddest thing is, when I
ask him about it, he acts bewildered, and, if I pursue it, annoyed that I don't believe
him, to the extent that I really am starting to think he's not aware he's doing it.
This is not something I've noticed other kids doing. So I'm wondering, does it sound
like a symptom of stress, or do some kids do it and it's just one of those strange
things kids do?
Your message jumped out at me, because I too talked to myself at
age 6 (or younger), and would say something to someone and then
repeat it to myself in a whisper once or twice. And you know
what? I still do it sometimes--now mostly silently (if I'm with
other people) rather than whispered, and I'm in my sixties! I've
always thought of the habit as a sort of fascination with
words--with how I worded what I said. Certainly it hasn't
hindered my life in any way--I've had a successful professional
career, and a happy family with kids and grandkids. I wouldn't
worry. It may pass--but if it doesn't, well, in my case it's just
one of those funny quirks...
My four year old son started doing exactly as you describe
shortly before he turned 4. I was worried at first, but then
my husband mentioned he did the same thing when he was growing
up, and is, as far as I can tell, normal. They're both very
intense people, so I guess it's not surprising. Try not to
My 5 year old has recently started talking to himself and I don't
believe it is unusual behavior as kids process information
differently than we do and often think out loud, so to speak.
Lots of kids have very strong imaginations, even have imaginary
friends, which I also wouldn't worry about. It's the sign of a
Try not to worry.
I had imaginary friends when I was little and I would talk with
them all the time, although silently to myself in my head.
Perhaps this is what he is doing? Sometime around 6 or 7, I
gave up my imaginary friends. (They just faded away in my
imagination, I think.) It's probably harmless and will pass
like all other phases.
Can't tell you what it all means but I can tell you that my son
started doing the same thing at around 5. He's turning 6 now
and it's becoming less frequent but from time to time he still
repeats back what he'd just said in a whisper. At first it was
a little disconcerting but we got used to it...and found it a
bit endearing even. I'll be curious to see what others have to
this page was last updated: Oct 21, 2008
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