Excessive Talking in Children

Instructor: Gaines Arnold
This lesson discusses the subject of excessive talking on children, reasons for this type of behavior, and how it can be treated. Whether the issue is developmental or problematic in some other way (such as through ADHD or a genetic disorder) is discussed along with treatment options.

Distraction or a Real Problem

Ben was five years old when he started kindergarten, and, from the very first, he was getting in trouble for not paying attention. His mother and father talked to his teacher, but they said that Ben had always asked a lot of questions and was interested in everything. His parents thought that the excessive talking was normal for children. A lot of his friends talked a lot and Ben's parents weren't concerned. They realized that there would be a learning curve when he went to school, but they asked that his teacher be patient.

The kindergarten teacher was a little bit more concerned after a few more weeks. No matter what the teacher and Ben's parents tried, Ben still did not understand the need to pay attention and quit talking during class time. The adults decided to see if there was more to his problem than simple distraction.

When do Kids Learn Social Norms?

Many parents worry about their chatterbox children when they are set to enter school. It is a common worry because children, at a young age, have not yet learned when it is appropriate to talk and when they need to stop talking. It is an evolutionary imperative that young children be allowed to talk (ask questions) because they need to learn about their environment. But eventually, children begin being able to discern when they can speak and when they cannot.

When children reach the age of five, most learn that to have a conversation with someone else, there needs to be give and take. They can talk when it is their turn, but they also need to allow the other person to talk. Up until that age, most children will just say anything they think. But, some children do not succumb to this social norm.

Why do Children Talk Excessively?

There are many reasons that children will talk excessively, and they are not all problematic. People do not mature at the same rate and neither do children's brains. A child may just not be as mature as other children. Thus, a child may not be able to regulate when they talk yet. If this is the case, it is easy enough to talk to them about what is appropriate, or just give the child the time he or she needs to mature.

But there are other times when there is a problem, and this needs to be researched and addressed. A child who talks too much could have a chemical or a structural issue that does not allow them to govern speech.

Organic issues within the brain, such as Williams syndrome (a genetic disorder), can cause children to talk excessively. Damage to certain areas of the brain can have the same effect. Another cause may be that the child has anxiety issues.

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