When the time came for my daughter to string sentences together, she never stopped. She talked and talked, and when she ran out of stuff to say, well, she just made noises. These days, my daughter always has a thought to share or observations to vocalize. From the time she’s up to the time she’s fast asleep, there are few quiet moments in between without thoughts, ideas, out-loud play, questions, or commentary. Having a talkative kid has its pros and cons, as anyone with a chatterbox will know.
The positive aspects of having a talkative child are:
They’re amazing communicators.
They’ll tell you what you need to know and what you don’t need to know. They will communicate when they feel sick or sad, and they’ll also communicate, in far too much detail, what the booger they just pulled out of their nose looks like. They’ll candidly let you know what their emotions are, and they’ll let you know when they don’t understand something. For me, this makes parenting pretty easy.
They always have an opinion.
Even if it’s about a home improvement project: “Mommy, I don’t like these new cabinets. We need to take them out and put the old ones back.” [dramatically swipes the air with her hand]. If you want an honest answer to any question, along with a 10-minute explanation about why cats don’t smile, ask your talkative tot what they think.
They are good company.
With a chatty kid, there is always something to talk about. Even if no one is around to listen to them, they’re content to talk to the cat, or even themselves. There is rarely a quiet moment that lasts longer than 12 seconds.
Sometimes my daughter runs out of stuff to talk about, and she’ll turn to some imaginative idea which leads into random things to talk about that don’t make much sense, like how she can build a cage to catch rabbits out of a shoebox, but coyotes can’t go in the box because it’s just for rabbits. And did you know coyotes chase kids but not grown ups? And they like to eat Cheetos.
Not a single thought stays in their head. So, it’s always nice to know which page she’s on. I rarely have to question her motives because she usually will explain them to me. Lord help us all if she ever has access to PowerPoint.
The less-than-desirable parts of raising a talkative kid are:
One thought-stream flows into 5,000 thought streams.
This goes on until no one even knows what started the entire conversation. There is so much to say that it either all comes out at once, or they start talking about what they want for breakfast and suddenly you find yourself trying to explain why the sun doesn’t burn Earth if it’s so hot.
There’s not much silence.
Until they are asleep.
80% of their chatter is questions.
I once counted 45 questions in three minutes — with no time for me to answer any of them.
You can’t get a word in.
I’ve tried to answer questions asked or put in a few thoughts of my own, only to be cut off with another thought that is totally unrelated.
Listening is an issue.
Because you can’t get a word in for them to hear. The best way to deal with it is:
Let them talk as much as they want. You don’t want them to think they are inconveniencing you — because one day they may need to talk, and you want them to know it’s okay to go to you for anything. But, that doesn’t mean that sometimes you aren’t mentally glazing over and thinking “OMG OMG stahpppp!”
Remind yourself to be grateful they are sharing. I have another child who is so quiet that I have to pull everything out of her. It’s a lot harder to try to fit the missing puzzle piece when it’s not provided for you.
Appreciate this part of them. I am not a social butterfly. My daughter is. This bodes well for many of her life’s avenues, and I’m excited for her.
Join in. This is an opportunity to get silly or to just be a part of what matters to them at this time. Who cares if you are jumping from conversation to conversation? There are few times in your life that you, as an adult, can converse this way without looking crazy.
There may come a day when your talkative child doesn’t want to talk — or simply won’t — anymore. Like many things in toddlerhood, this too shall pass. So, enjoy this while you have it. Maybe it’ll be a sad thing, or it may be a relief. Kiddos who can tell you what’s in their head can make your life much easier. Sometimes I feel like my kids and I are speaking two different languages, so it’s helpful to be told so that I know.
Well, maybe don’t engage in information on what the boogers you just pulled out of your nose look like.