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Kids Talking Too Much

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3 1/2 year old never stops talking

Oct 2008

Our oldest son almost never stops talking. It is wonderful how verbal and imaginative he is; describing things he sees, how they work, what games he plays, what just happened, what is happening in the book we are reading, etc etc etc. If he is not talking himself he asks us to talk - covering all the topics just listed. But I am EXHAUSTED! I don't want to tune him out and I feel bad asking him to stop because I don't want to squelch his outgoing nature, or stunt the imagination he is building, but I cannot keep up with the current level of conversation he demands. Sometimes in the car I can tell him I need a break from talking and suggest he talks to himself, his baby brother, or his stuffed animal. This actually works OK in the car but not at home. It must be tiring for him too, to keep this chatter going, but he does not seem tired. Argh! All Worn Out


I had to laugh when I read your post. I could have written it myself. I have a four and a half year old son that never, and I mean never, stops talking. And he doesn't talk quietly. His little brother seems to have the same trait (although he's only two so this could change) and there are days it just feels like a constant stream of noise. He is either telling me about his imaginary life, asking questions, giving me his opinions, or just yammering away as he goes about his day.

How have I dealt with this? I guess that like you, I don't want to do anything to hinder his imagination and ability to question his world. I also know that I am someone who has always been sensitive to noise (I don't like the TV or stereo loud and I am not a huge talker) so I am probably more sensitive to it than others might be.

At times, I do say, ''I love all your wonderful questions, but right now let's enjoy some quiet time so Mommy can concentrate on making dinner. Think of two questions or stories you'd like to tell me and I'd love to hear them when we sit down to dinner...'' or something like that.

More than anything...I remind myself that the day will come that he will be a moody teenager, and might not talk to me at all, and then I will miss his little rambling terribly and fondly remember when I was the center of his world. To me, the quiet when my boys are away from me is a reminder that someday I will really miss this. Mom to a little chatterbox


Afternoon preschool was my savior. It breaks up my day with my chatterbox just perfectly... -anon
How I wish this were my problem. My three and a half year old rarely talks and when he does it is the same three or four things over and over again. My child has a developmental issue that makes it difficult to communicate. I see many three year olds at the park that talk away like your child and I long to have that experience. It kills me what parents take for granted. Count your blessings and indulge your child. Wishful
Either this is be thankful, or be careful what you wish for. When my daughter was 3 she rarely talked, and never to anyone outside her family. She went through years of speech therapy. How I wished she would talk more. Now at 10 she is a constant nonstop perfect talker. She drives me lovingly crazy! Well, guess I got what I wanted though :D. -Carrie

My three-year-old won't stop talking...HELP ME!

March 2008

My sweet wonderful three year old WILL NOT STOP TALKING...ever. In the car, she will keep saying my name. I will respond. She has nothing to say. She says my name again. And it keeps going around and around. At home she keeps asking questions -- most of which she knows the answers to already. She'll talk about anything and everything. I realize that this is penance for being overly concerned that my older daughter was such a late talker. But, any suggestions on how to redirect her verbal enthusiasm so that there are a few moments during my day where I am no being talked at?

She is with me all but two mornings a week. I do give her plenty one-on-one attention. We have plenty of real conversations throughout the day. And, next year she is going five afternoons to a Montessori school just so that I can get some downtime as she has dropped her nap. She has an exuberant BIG personality, which I love, but I just need some downtime with either her directing her attention elsewhere or me being physically removed from her. My spouse is on the road a lot, so I don't get much help from him (though today, I did call him and she walked around the house for half an hour talking with him.) Thoughts? -done with the chatter


Have you tried children's books or CDs on tape? Maybe she'll become so interested in the stories that she'll keep her mouth closed for a while. There's usually a good selection at public libraries. been there
You are not alone! Who knows why some of our preschoolers talk so so SO much. The only practical thing that I have done is set ''NO talking'' times in the car. I tell her that I just want to focus on driving and listen to my music. I turn the music up to a non- conversation volume. Initially she would still try to talk, but she caught on. I made it clear that this was what I ''needed.'' and didn't make it about her. I don't do this everytime we get in the car, just when she's super talkative and I'm not. mom who's heard it all
Sorry to say but this is entirely normal developmentally in my opinion! 3 is a chatterbox age. She will get quieter later. It does get tiring being talked at all the time. It's good you're getting some time starting in the Fall. Until then, make sure you nourish yourself with regular time to yourself to recharge. Anon

What to do about 4 year old CHATTERBOX

July 2007

Our four year old daughter never stops talking. It starts the minute she wakes up in the morning, continues until she takes a nap, then starts up again after nap and goes non-stop until bedtime. It is exhausting and annoying. She constantly interrupts and becomes frustrated when someone else is talking and she is asked to wait. She has been extremely verbal since one years old and is very bright and articulate but we are having real battles over how much she should be allowed to talk. She even goes into her room and reads books out loud when we are not available to talk to her. I don't want to inhibit her expressing herself but there needs to be some kind of limit as to how long she holds the floor. Anyone have a similar experience that can offer some suggestions? mom with tired ears


I was a *very* talkative preschooler. I have memories of my mother telling me to ''be quiet'' and of her telling me ''you talk too much''; I also remember when I was young her going into the living room in the afternoon with a book and telling me to leave her alone for a specified amount of time. As a teenager, I remember my sister telling me that I needed to listen more and not interrupt. And you know what? I think that all this ''intervention'' was good. I am still an expressive, lively, adult, so it didn't ''break my spirit'' to be told to quiet down and listen. And I think that I am a good listener and know when to reserve my opinions and thoughts. -formerly Chatty Cathy
All this talk is nothing unusual for a 4 year old. It's a natural part of their development. Talk to any mom of a four yr old and they'll tell you the same thing, and that it also drives them crazy. If your daughter goes in her room and reads a book out loud to herself, consider that a break for you! My 4 yr old talks all the time too, even when engaging in imaginary play by himself, in the bath playing with his toys, or riding his bike. It is non-stop. I've learned to tune it out, or to redirect him to play with something by himslef so at least he's not talking directly at me so my head can get a break. Especially since he's now in the talkative AND asking ''why'' all the time phase!

Please don't make your child feel bad for talking so much nor should you try to repress her talking, she really can't help it. But what you can do is be consistent and firm about not interrupting other people, or waiting their turn to talk. (It is also developmentaly appropriate that they can't wait too long for their turn.) For example, if I'm having a conversation w/ someone and my son interrupts, I'll tell him that I'm talking and he needs to wait. Then I turn back to the other person and we talk until there is a good stopping point at which point I ask my son what he wanted and I thank him for waiting. Sometimes he keeps talking but I ignore him. He's getting the hang of it tho.

I also have an teenager, so enjoy this 4 year old chatter while it lasts. They say some pretty imaginative and funny things. Then they become surly teenagers who only seem to talk when they want something or to complain... anon


Non-stop talker, 7 year-old

March 2007

My seven year old talks constantly. And not about relevant things either. This morning I was trying to listen to the radio for just a few minutes and she talked right over it about hotels having comfortable beds and why do they have maids... This is not a new topic. They usually aren't. She just talks for the sake of talking. Am I expecting to much to have any time where I'm not listening to her drone on? I am not the type of person who can tune out distractions so if there are words I attend to them. Asking her to stop talking doesn't seem to have any effect. In fact we once played a game on the way to Tahoe where she earned a penny for every minute that she was quiet. Her total earned on the drive there was 17"! Any suggestions for how others have dealt with chatty cathys is much appreciated. Full Ears


Hi- I giggled when I read your post. I was a huge talker when I was little. It was just my mom and I, and boy could I talk her ear off. There is even a commerical now (for Volvo?) that even makes fun of this lovely chatter phenemenon. Whatever you do, don't make her feel too self-aware. Bribing her to keep quiet isn't a good message either. My son can chat away over and over again about the same things, but just take it in stride, and find perhaps a new topic. Instead of the dreaded hotel/maid debate, remind her about a vacation and ask her some questions -- what was her favorite part of the trip? Where would she like to go if she could go anywhere? That sort of thing. She'll pipe down eventually, so just take it in stride and enjoy the conversation. Heck, in a few years she'll be a teen and won't want to talk to you at all! ;) chatty kathy
My middle son is also 7 and a nonstop talker. What I do with him is I frankly tell him I need some quiet time. That sometimes I'm just not in the mood to hear discussion. When I'm PMSg, I frankly tell him I'm not feeling well and I'm getting headaches and I need quiet and he gets it. I think if you're frank with her and communicate your feelings and your thoughts without making her feel bad, I think she'll get it that it's not always necessary to talk. Maybe if your child observes you simply listening to the birds chirping or observing you viewing the hummingbirds drinking their nectar, you can place your finger over your lips and display to her the beauty of silence. Mom of nonstop talker, too

All talked out by 3 1/2 year old

Feb 2006

Hi there. I am a stay at home mom of a 3 1/2 year old boy and a 4 month old girl. The 3 1/2 year old does not attend preschool yet but is quite bright and is very verbal for his age. Although I'm proud of his verbal abilities, I am going crazy with him constantly talking to me all day. Not only does he talk, but he's always asking me questions. I do respond to him and explain things he's curious about. But, there are only so many ''why?'' questions I can answer before I'm out of answers, tired, or annoyed. Gosh! In typing, this, I feel like a bad, selfish mother, but I know I'm not. I care about his mental, emotional, and social development, and I know that communicating with him is an important contributor to it. But at the same time, I feel like I'm gonna lose it! I wonder if I'm being selfish or impatient. Does anyone else have this issue, and if so, what do you do to keep yourself sane while encouraging your child's communication skills? Thanks! All Talked Out


Oh my -- I know this so very well -- and I'm sure a lot of other parents do too! There is something about the 3-year-old child and his incessant desire to (a) know how and why everything works and (b) have conversations with his parent, that can wear even a chatterbox like myself out. Part of the issue is that these children really enjoys talking with parents, but have a relatively limited range of conversational skills. Asking questions like ''why'' is one of the few ways they know to ensure that the conversation keeps going. One of the absolute best strategies I have discovered for keeping myself sane was to answer selected whys with ''Why do you think?'' Especially when I was running out of answers and/or it seemed like the questions were as much a desire to have a conversation as to know specific information. This keeps the conversation going, but takes the ball out of your court -- plus it enables you to learn interesting things about your child's thought processes. Karen
It sounds like it's time for preschool! Or at least a babysitter that comes regularly and gives you a break. I don't think there is anything you can do to stop a 3 year old from asking questions and I don't think you really want to. It will be great for him to build a relationship with another adult. A college student, or even a high school student, could be ideal for this. good luck!
You are a great mother! Communicating is important to his development, but so is learning to read others and their level of interest at the moment, and spending some time amusing himself. Don't hesitate to set a time when you don't want to talk. During the little one's nap? Put on some nice music that *you* like and find relaxing, and tell him that you are tired of talking right now and will be resting your voice and mind during the music. He should play quietly (near you or not, depending) until the music is over. You could train him to this in a couple of weeks of daily practice, and this habit will make your life better (therefore by defition your childrens') for years! And will be good for him, too. Even young children benefit from some quiet time. Good luck! anne
Boy can I relate! I'm two years ahead of where you are, but when I read just the title of your post I knew what your question would be. My son's mantra from about 2-1/2 to 3-1/3 (and recurring regularly) was ''Why mom, why?'' as if the answers to his questions were essential to his overall well being. I loved it, but I was exhausted by it. Plus I didn't always have the answers.

You say your son is not yet in preschool--will he be soon? I ask because preschool has been great for both of us. It gave me a break from the talking and gave him different resources for answers.

Plus--and I think this is another important thing about preschool--it gave him something beyond his intellectual curiosity to focus on. In preschool there are lots of friends, lots of relationships to work out, lots of singing and snack time rituals and all kinds of other activities. Because of this, I am very glad that we chose a developmental preschool. He was allowed to be a preschooler and to work on other things besides intellectual matters.

My son's curiosity remains, as do his questions, but they are more fun for me because they are not constant. And I was just thinking the other day how much more I have learned for having to look up answers to his questions.

If you are not planning on preschool, or if the time you are going to send him to school is still some months off, there are things you can do. I would often just tell my son I could not talk for ten minutes. Sometimes he would stare at me while I lay close-eyed on the floor, but somehow that time off of talking did allow for the kind of emotional break I needed. Also, we became great fans of the DK books, those with lots of pictures on specific subjects and other books in the nonfiction section of the library. We were often reading books way beyond his age, but he loved having resources for information. My son still pours over them, and yes, often I have had to read every word in them, but books are again a different focus for answers.

You know your son's social abilities (lots of early talking) and curiosity are great strengths for you both. And when you can find time out for yourself--or even time out for quiet--I'm sure you won't feel so exhausted by them. Carolyn


I hear you, All Talked Out!, my son is the same age, and similarly verbal. (I also have an infant). It seems that from the time he was able to, he has talked incessantly. Most of the time, I enjoy our banter, and appreciate the window it gives me into his world. From time to time, however, I do feel I'll go crazy. I notice my mind wandering some days, and when I re-focus, he's still talking. He'll implore ''Mom, Mom, I need to tell you something'' if he notices I'm not focusing on him. I have had some success by implementing a few minutes of quiet time. I have noticed that as he's gotten older, his ''why'' questions have been increasingly replaced with chatter. I used to just tell him that we'd used up all of our whys for a while, and will have some more time for why questions later.

Not sure I'm much help, but I don't think you're alone. It's the blessing and the curse of the curious, verbal preschooler! mom of a chatterbox


Send him to preschool. Both you and he will be happier and enjoy your time together more if he gets more group social time outside the home. Parent of preschooler
Your son is plenty old enough for pre-school, and it sounds like he is desperate for lots of communication and interaction. Is preschool not an option? If not, perhaps you can find a playgroup with other kids his age and a little older, so he can have a chance to practice his developing skills on people (big and small) other than you. anon
Though I haven't yet needed to use this on my 21 month old son, I used this trick when my nephews were probably 9 and 4. On car rides, out at dinner, etc their maniacal talking to me and over each other, on top of the never ending, ''Why? But Why? And WHY?'' drove me nuts. I gave them a certain number of ''Why?''s they could ask in a set amount of time (10 in 30 minutes, say) and made it a contest where they'd get some sort of reward. Part of the game was my asking them, ''Are you SURE this question is worth it?'' They got good at it. When your babe is older, you can try the competetive ''Quiet Game'' (who can stay quiet longer and win the ''prize''). More than once, Auntie was the big loser, which they loved. anon
I was a ''Why'' child also. In fact, I'm a why adult. I have a very curious nature and want to know everything about people and situations, but learned how to carefully space out my questions over time so people don't feel so grilled.

When I spent time with Grandma as a young child, after answering questions for awhile, she'd simply say ''That's enough questions for now.'' Apparently, I held out as long as I could (2-3 minutes average), and then started up again. If she was ready to answer more, she did. If she wasn't, she would repeat her boundary. You can try other responses too, such as ''Why do you think?'' (builds his reasoning skils - might also give you a good laugh with what he comes up with) Or, ask him to think about things for awhile and tell you later what he thinks the answer is. This is a good ploy to buy you some time while he may be totally silent.

Ok, so I have a question for ya - WHY do you think it's selfish to not wish for interrogation all day? It's okay to want a break. It's okay to set boundaries that leave you more comfortable spending time with your child - perhaps he'll also learn through this, how to moderate his grilling. I did! Ali


I have a 3 year old boy who never stops talking or asking questions as well but the difference with me is I also have a 4 1/2 year old boy with a severe language disorder. He isn't capable of having conversations beyond his immediate needs. So this is actually the first time that I am experiencing any sort of interesting dialogue with my own child. It's music to my ears, I eat up every second of it (well maybe not every second, I'm not a saint or anything) and am so thankful that I have the opportunity to experience this. I'm not at all writing this to you to make you feel bad, I promise, and I understand that everything is relative but I do want to give you some perspective that might help you feel better about it and get you through the day. anon
I was in a similar situation until my son began pre-school. For him, he is a very active and curious child (as most tend to be) and needed constant interaction or to be doing something. Once he began school, he began to be able to play on his own at home without needing so much attention from me. And I have more energy to give to him. You may want to consider some regular classes, or even school a few mornings a week for him. School also has given my son the space he needs to go free with his imagination in a setting that supports that.

Good luck. Kim


I am right there with you. The ENDLESS talking! Sometimes it helps if I play music in the background while we are doing our daily thing. He has something else to listen to and doesn't feel the need to contribute his thoughts. It also helps him concentrate if he is working on a project. For my own sanity, I do not always actively listen to him ... sometimes I say ''mm-hm'' and ''uh-huh'' as he jabbers on while I load the dishwasher, etc. Not that I tune him out while he's talking about something important! Lastly, when I really can't take anymore, I say to him, ''You know, my ears are really tired now and I need some quiet. I can't listen to you right now. Can we talk later?'' and he is usually OK with that. Good luck; I feel for you. Silence is golden
They have a big spurt in energy around 3. Your child is ready for preschool, or some kind of organized activity. That way he'll have other people to talk to (and you'll get a break.) anon
You are not being selfish or impatient, you are being normal! I had a chatterbox too, and although I worked full-time, she could drive me crazy on weekends with the never-ending blather. I came up with a few tricks: try telling him that your ears are ''full'' and you really can't listen for a while, or that you need to think about something so you need quiet for a while, or put on music to listen to. I also think it's perfectly fine not to actually give serious or lengthy responses to every random question a small child can come up with -- sometimes they don't really expect an answer, and you can get away with a non- committal ''hmm'' which indicates that you heard him, but doesn't require much effort on your part. And unless you're strongly opposed to it, I'd say send him to pre-school or playgroups so he can practice on other people & give you a break. Can't stand all the talk either.
One thing people do to get a break, that's good for both people involved is pre-school. pre-school mom.
When my 3-year-old son interrupted me at the computer once, I just started typing verbatim his stream-of-consciousness talking, for about a page. This has become one of my most precious momentos of his childhood. We still read it and laugh about it.

When I was about 3, I remember being shocked when my mother said to me, ''You know, just because a thought comes into your head doesn't mean that you have to say it.'' It was an entirely new concept to me, but a very valuable lesson in socializing any child.

mother of communicative 15 year old


I'm sorry, but I had to laugh when I read your message, because it is exactly how I felt with both of my kids. Sometimes I would turn to the wall where they couldn't see me and silently yell ''shut up!!!'' Actually what worked well for me was gently telling them when they were in a good listening mode, that mommy loves to talk with you, and loves your questions, but that mommy needs her thinking time, and that when I need it I will let them know. And that I will set the timer, and as soon as it buzzes you can ask me anything you want! I made it clear that it was not a punishment but a big grown-up way to help mommy. And then when the buzzer went off I tried to turn my attention to them fully for a while. I started with 5 minutes and got longer. Anyway seemed to work. anon

5 year-old son talks constantly

April 2005

I am wondering how parents deal with extremely talkative children. My 5-1/2 year-old son is a HUGE talker. He goes on and on and does not pick up on subtle cues that I am pre-occupied, for example in the grocery store trying to read a label or think about what I need. When I explain that I am not able to focus on what he's saying at that moment--that he can tell me later, he ignores the comment, and continues with his story. I do appreciate that he still enjoys talking to me and that he has so much to say, it's just that there are times that I definitely need my mind to myself to complete a thought! I've tried asking him to draw a picture of it, I've tried acknowledging what he's said and asking him to tell me the rest later. When my mind is free, I offer to write down his stories so that he does get the experience of really engaging. Nothing works. He just goes on and on, in excruciating detail. I swear, he could tell a story that is like 25 minutes long, and he's not satisfied until he's stated every last detail. My husband tells me that his mother perfected the ''pretend to be listening technique'' (i.e., well-timed ''oh's'' and ''mm hmm's'' without really engaging)with all three of her children and suggests this approach. I just can't do it though--it seems so unfair. I know that some might suggest that incessant talking is a sign of ADHD, and, yes, probably my son meets the criteria, but I'm not interested in a diagnosis but a practical approach for handling the symptom! anon


hello, i have a son that shows leanings towards being a younger version of one of those, and i know for a fact that my husband was one of those in his youth, well a sweet one that would go into excruciating detail about his dreams upon rising...and they are both just fine. no adhd, just a mind that has a predilection for incredible detail about topics that interest him. he's also quite bright and very industrious and productive. all good qualities. i wouldn't worry about it, but perhaps get him a small voice activated recorder, and he can make tapes of his thoughts. an audio journal all his own. that may give you a break. loves to chat too
Apparently I drove my mother to a similar level of distraction with incessant chatter at about the same age; she started setting a timer for 5-15 minutes (working to greater times, I think) during which no talking was allowed. I haven't got advice on enforcing the no talking, since my parents were spankers and you almost certainly aren't; you could try whatever discipline technique works best for you at this stage. much luck! Ana
Sounds like my 5 1/2 year old daughter and your 5 1/2 year old son should get together! My daughter's talk includes singing, and making repititive noises and phrases as well as scolding her imaginary friend. She too is very creative in her imaginative play and stories. Getting her involved in music and movement classes has been a good thing. I wouldn't chalk it up to ADD/ADHD at this point unless there are other indicators. I'm told that extroverts need to talk out loud to think. I don't think gently suggesting that your son tell you later is going to work, 5 year olds are too egocentric. I tell my daughter that my ears are full and that I need her to be quiet for say 5 minutes. She is responding very well to positive reinforcement... we give her tokens when she is caught doing desired behavior and then she can cash them in when she gets enough at the end of the week for playdates, video time or special outings. She can also lose them by doing undesirable behavior. You obviously need to agree on what the behaviors are that you want to change and how many tokens a playdate, etc. cost. I think my daughter's learning a little about addition and subtraction this way too. We also used to use time outs but they are no longer effective. I take quiet breaks in my bedroom too! I keep my shopping very simple when shopping with my daughter, focusing on coupons, ingredient labels and the like is impossible. You might find the book ''Raising Your Spirited Child'' by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka very interesting. By the way, I'll never forget a drive to Tahoe when my daughter was 4. We played a game in which she could earn a penny for every full minute she was quiet. She had earned 17 cents by the time we got there! Good luck. Mom of a chatty cathy

4yo constantly hums, sings, talks

April 2004

Maybe you'll just tell me this is normal... Our 4 year old daughter constatnly hums, sings and talks. At times it's more than I can bear but I don't want to damage her self esteem by asking her to please shut up! Is this normal for this age? Are we looking at ADD/ADHD behavior? Any advice from parents who've been there?
- Longing for occassional peace and quiet


I too have a 4 yr old who is doing this although I'm beginning to think it is totally normal and I just have to adjust to the fact that I have kids. (ie. those days of peace and quiet are few are far between .) I do look forward to hearing other responses to this though. Sometimes I think he does it to keep himself company but who knows, I do realize that once I get down and play with him he's less likely to hum around my feet ( just wants me to play with him while I'm trying to make dinner for example. ) And when I'm particularly stressed out he seems to do it more or louder and I think it's him picking up on my stress. Anyway, no real advice here just saying I can relate . ~S
My younger daughter is like this. It certainly can drive you crazy, but I think it's normal for some particularly lively kids. I sometimes will say to her ''My ears are full, I need you to stop talking/humming/singing for a little while.'' She usually responds well to this, maybe since it's presented as a need or problem I have that she can help me with, rather than something she's doing wrong that she needs to correct. It also got much better when she was around 5 or 6 and I got her a walkman to listen to CDs on. Sometimes she'll suddently start singing along, but for the most part she just listens, and it provides her with the aural stimulation she craves without bothering anyone else. Melinda
Sounds like your 4-year-old is happy, happy, happy! And content. And imaginative. Don't you ever hum a diddy when having a good day? Both my kids (7 and 4) wander around singing outloud, humming and talking to themselves while playing deep in their own worlds. I love to hear them, because I know that soon enough the weight of the world will persuade them to stop. And when they're teens they might not even want to talk to me, God forbid let me hear them sing. Relax and enjoy. My kids never stop
sounds perfectly normal to me. being a ''silence is golden'' type of person I have two thoughts. first you can try to direct her noises into something you both can share like a song or a listen-response game when you're in the mood. the other thought is to get yourself a pair of soft ear plugs. they don't block all the sound but at least it would make her play noises easier to tune out ilona
I think it's probably pretty normal for a 4yo to be chattering nonstop. All the 4yo's I've ever babysat have been similar. My mom tells me I drove her crazy for 2 years at that age too, and I seem to have turned out fine. It won't last forever, and its a sign of a healthy, inquisitive, active mind. still a chatterbox
Your 4 yo could have sensory integration issues. My ADHD son is highly active and very athletic so I didn't think he ''fit'' the description for this problem. When my sister-in-law visited us and noticed that he was highly sensitive to touch and I noted that his eyes had always been highly sensitive to light , I decided to follow her advice and have him tested by an occupational therapist. It was the best thing I have ever done for him! I have learned more about practical things he can do when he just HAS to fidgit. Yes, constant humming or talking can be a sign that your daughter needs more sensory stimulation with her mouth. Chewing gum or chewing on a straw can give her a more acceptable means of working her facial muscles. It can be very frustrating to try to explain this to teachers as they want to label it ADD behavior and have you use drugs to alleviate the problem. My advise is to discuss this with a specialist who can look at your daughter's entire behavior pattern and help you decide what is truely going to help her. I am sure there are many good occupational therapists in the East Bay. I was told about Gail Gordon , in Orinda. She was wonderful and informative from our first meeting and my son loved working with her! I often see my son's behavior as a huge jigsaw puzzle and every bit of information I acquire gives me a new piece of the puzzle. The more pieces you have, the better you will be able to see the whole picture and be prepared to help your daughter to understand her differences and how to manage them. dagsz
Yes, my 4.5 year-old girl constantly talks, sings, sings non-word sounds, and generally makes noise. My father (her grandfather) commented that ''she doesn't like dead air.'' Yes, it sometimes drives me crazy. I don't know if it's ''normal'' or not, but I'm not worried about ADD, because she has a long attention span for activities she enjoys. (For example, she has a long attention span for signing to herself!) If you'd like, we can get them together so they can talk to each other, which my daughter also loves. Karen
hello, what your child does in her free time sounds wonderful! enjoy this in her while it lasts. before you know it, you will be missing these wonderful tunes... anon
I know what you mean. My daughter is 5 and a half and NEVER stops talking. I am not kidding she talks or sings ALL the time. I do ask her to stop talking. I explain that I love to hear what she has to say but I need quiet time for adult thoughts. She is a great storyteller and very smart. She does not have ADD because of her lack of impulsivity and her ability to sit still for long periods; say a long chapter in a book. It is exhausting though. My newest idea is to get her a hand held tape recorder for her to tell her stories into. I am sometimes short with her if I am really busy but explaining that I need to have quiet thoughts usually gives me two or three minutes. Hush little baby.
Your 4 year old sounds delightful! I only wish I had more tapes or videos of my now 9 year old singing or talking. Why not give her a little tape recorder, and ask her to make some recordings for you? This time with your daughter will be just a memory sooner than you think. a mom
My daughter, almost 4, has been a ''busy blabber'', i.e., in constant ''verbal motion'', since around 4 months. She, too, hums, sings, makes up stories with sound effects, and chatters incessantly, both to me and herself. I recently read (and cut out and posted on my fridge!) a piece from a newspaper advice column entitled, ''Preschoolers talk to themselves for a reason.'' It says that the majority of preschoolers' verbal comments are directed at themselves, and that this is part of their cognitive development. Verbalizing aloud, or ''private speech,'' helps them to process their thoughts, especially when facing difficulties with a task. My favorite part is this: ''Young children who emply private speech during a challenging activity thend to do better than age-mates who don't.'' Now, as for singing, humming, and constantly haranguing poor old mom, I guess we'll have to see! anon
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