I cannot hold it in any longer: I’m having really trying times with my 4-year-old son Braden right now, and the more I talk about it with other parents, I’m thinking it’s more the challenges that the age of 4 brings, rather than Braden himself. I find it really hard to cope with his constant need to talk. I know not all 4-year-olds are as talkative as Braden is, but I do know that it can be common among 4-year-olds, and it certainly is with Braden. It seems like all day long, especially when we’re home together he’s talking to me all the time. “Mommy?…Mommy?…Mommy?” all the live-long day. I need to really work on not snapping at him so much–I’m 31 and he’s only 4! I think these 4-year-oldisms (if that’s even such a thing) can be really annoying, but perhaps only to me.
One example of that is when Braden goes to the bathroom in our laundry room bathroom just off of our kitchen (where I spend a big majority of our day, it’s the hub of our home), he’ll try to carry on a conversation with me. I’ve explained to him many times to please not try to talk to me when he’s going potty, because I can’t hear him, and potty time is private time…yet on a daily basis all I hear is jibber jabber from the back bathroom. Perhaps just ignoring him is best? Or setting a new rule that he can only talk to someone if he’s looking at them? Whatever it is, something needs to change.
He’s also just starting to learn etiquette when people are talking–we’re trying really hard to teach him not to interrupt when others are speaking. Braden also tends to say the same thing over and over and over until it is very distinctly acknowledged–sometimes a simple smile and a nod to him just will not suffice. I catch myself saying many times a day “Braden, I heard you the first time you said it–I know!” He also asks a lot of questions that I know he knows the answer to: “Is Daddy home right now?“, when Braden knows that almost every day his daddy leaves for work because he gives him a hug and a kiss goodbye, yet almost every day Braden asks me this question. Pretty sure he just wants to converse, because I know that he knows the answer. From what I’ve observed in playschool, he doesn’t seem to talk too much or interrupt the class. In fact, probably because he’s one of (if not) the oldest in his class, he listens quite well, so I hope this carries on in his school years and I don’t get notes home from school that say “Braden talks too much and disturbs class time”.
This might sound awful to you, but I started to question whether Braden was “normal” developmentally or not, and from talking to my mom who has been in the preschool/elementary school system for 20+ years and from doing some reading of my own, I know that he is normal for his development as a 4 year old and it’s ME (yes, me) who has the problem and needs to change and adapt. He really is a great kid—he’s sensitive, sweet, and very caring, and still doesn’t have a mean or aggressive bone in his body. The characteristic about him that I need to be more accepting of is his “Chatty Charlie-ness”, which ironically he gets from me.
So, you might be surprised that it’s not Braden that has the problem, it’s his mother. I need to embrace Braden and everything about him. I don’t want to discourage him from talking to me and sharing things with me…one day he might not want to at all. I need to give him more grace every day.
Do you have an extremely chatty kid too? Any tips or experiences you’d like to share?