Talkative kids – Raising a chatterbox

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“Mummy, why does Daddy have a beard? Is today Monday? Can I have Ice cream? I love pink. Mummy I want rice. Can I please go and see Grandma today?…”.

This was my daughter one time. Which one was I supposed to reply first? She probably got that trait from her father but even he didn’t talk as much. I love my adorable girl but her constant talk-talk ensured I was praying for Monday on Friday so that her teachers could have her for some part of the day and I could rest.

I missed her when she wasn’t with me though but her persistent chatter could wear even a saint out. How she got so chatty, I don’t know. It was like yesterday we were teaching her the words “Momma”, see life! Thank God she outgrew it. I really don’t know what I’d have done if she didn’t but I’m proud to say that my baby has graduated from that life and now communicates less compulsively. Can I hear a whoop!!!

If this description fits you, then you might be living with a chatterbox.

How do you know you are living with a chatterbox?

First thing to look out for is how long they can be quiet for.

Second thing is (this one is deep), how long they can stay still because they can’t stop talking long enough for you to do anything. Teni wouldn’t even stay still long enough to take a picture.

Third thing, you never have to drag information out of them. They are always happy and willing to tell you everything that happened to them while you were temporarily separated. Who’s Mom forgot to pack their lunch that day, who is who’s best friend, who picked their nose when the teacher wasn’t looking.

*sigh

The list goes on and on really.

The fourth thing, you can never have secrets once they know about them. They will be more than happy to say that their Mom thinks Grandma is noisy (and yes, it will be Grandma they will be telling it to), how many times their Dad farted that morning and so much more embarrassing talk.

The fifth, you become Google’s best friend or you had better be because you can’t answer all the questions they have to ask.

Silence is Bae. Only when they are not in the house though. If they are at home and they are silent that kind of silence is sure to give you a headache because it means they are doing something that will give you a headache. The only time you can enjoy silence again is when they are asleep.

They are a good source of laughter. Oh, the things they say! Adorable, that’s what it is and funny.

There are positive aspects of having a chatterbox

  • They’re amazing communicators. They’ll tell you what you need to know and what you don’t need to know. They are so candid it can help make parenting easy.
  • They are good company. There is rarely a quiet moment that lasts because there is ALWAYS something to talk about it.
  • It’s entertaining. Some of them have very good imagination and when they run out of things to say they become creative.
  • They might not be difficult teenagers. If your child can count on you to listen to the not-so-important things, she will be more likely to share what really matters during the teen years.

You can help them curb the habit because honestly it is not a great trait and might cause people to be weary of them. Imagine having a friend who you couldn’t get a word in every time you were with her. Rather exasperating, to be honest. Here are a few tricks to help them deal with the attitude.

Perspective taking

Or seeing from another person’s perspective. You could help them by asking the right questions like, “How do people feel when we talk all the time and don’t listen?” or “How would you feel if someone was talking to you and didn’t listen to what you had to say?”

It is going to be a slow process, but with gentle patience (you are going to need it because it might take several years before it sinks in) your child will learn to be considerate of others’ perspectives.

Make sure you or your partner aren’t the bad example.

Children can’t help replicating what they see you do, so make sure you aren’t the one setting bad examples and if you are please stop it.

  • Listen – Children are intuitive and a reason your child might be saying a lot is to gain your attention. Show that she has your attention and maybe they might not need to go at you 500 words a minute.
  • Avoid name-calling – “Talkative”, “Radio without battery”, “Chatter box”. I know it is super tempting but don’t, it might affect their self-esteem.
  • Channel all that energy to something useful – Debate? Drama club? Anything that builds or strengthens communication is just fine.

Even though it’s tempting to shush them, try to give a listen. She will learn to keep it brief gradually, as much from her peers and teachers as from you. When she’s finally through, thank her for sharing her stories. Then give her a hug, or dote her face with kisses because sometimes she’s looking for appreciation and reassurance that run deeper than words.

Above all, enjoy your child, accept and appreciate who they are. They are irreplaceable you know.

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