15 answers

Does Your 3 YO Repeat Him/herself Constantly?

My three year old sometimes will repeat himself constantly for 30 minutes or more on end. Such as "where is the bank mom?" or "Where is the garbage truck?" Even if you repeatedly answer him, or say something silly like "it's on the moon," or say "You just asked me that." It's almost like a nervous habit. Is this typical 3 YO behavior? It's so annoying!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great feedback. I'm definitely going to make sure he's asking the question he means to (and I'm answering what he's really asking) and I'll also try having him answer the question, too. But most importantly, it sounds very typical. He seems to want to be sure there is never a moment of silence, either, so I'm going to have to help him work on "quiet moments" (good luck!). :)

Featured Answers

My nephew became known by his parents as "Austin Two Times" because he said EVERYTHING 2-3 times. It was very annoying and distracting. We just stopped answering him the second or third time and tried to get him to focus on the fact that if he asks a question he needs to LISTEN to the answer.

Don't know the science or developmental reason behind this. But I've seen this a lot in 3 yr olds, and have noticed it more in boys.

1 mom found this helpful

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That was my son a couple of years ago about that age!! I decided one day to try asking the question right back to my son.

DS = "Where is the garbage truck?"

Me = "I don't know. Where do you think the garbage truck is?" and he would give his best guess. It stopped the repeating.

When we would be heading somewhere like the bank, my son would ask "Where is the bank?" I would say "I don't remember. Can you help me find it?" Then I would let him tell me "Go that way. Now turn that way", and I would verify "Left on Main Street?" so he would learn street names/left/right. If he said the wrong way I would just say "Hmmm are you sure it isn't that way?" and proceed that way.

At this point my son can tell you how to get just about anywhere in our town and back home "Turn left on Main street, now turn right at 1st street"! LOL!

5 moms found this helpful

My nephew became known by his parents as "Austin Two Times" because he said EVERYTHING 2-3 times. It was very annoying and distracting. We just stopped answering him the second or third time and tried to get him to focus on the fact that if he asks a question he needs to LISTEN to the answer.

Don't know the science or developmental reason behind this. But I've seen this a lot in 3 yr olds, and have noticed it more in boys.

1 mom found this helpful

Yup. And next will be the 'why' phase.

My daughter is on the ADHD side (undiagnosed, but recognized by her Dr) and when she was about 3 or so, she'd almost stutter. My ex (her dad) would say things about it... I pointed out that he does the same thing. Their brains are working faster than their mouths can. So picture the repeating with the trailing off stutter thing... : )

I make it a game with mine. When it becomes to the obnoxious point, I start asking them questions.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, it's normal and yes, it's annoying! Although my son's current favorite phrase to repeat is, "I love you, sweetheart!" so that one is very cute! :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Yup! My daughter is 2 1/2 and she does it all the time. Even when we answer her. I am just dreading the "why" phase. She drives me nuts but when I repeat exactly what she says then she will stop. Like she will say "mommy moon, see it?" I will have to say "yes I see the moon" otherwise she will keep repeating it until I answer her the right way. LOL I know that it is annoying but get used to it cause it will happen for a while. I sometimes just don't answer her and she eventually forgets about it. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, it is normal. Yes, it does get irritating. :)

We never went thru the "why" phase. We're in that "what's THAT?" phase. Fun-fun!

Yes, my daughter is 3 and she just started doing this. She'll ask me the same question multiple times and I will answer her multiple times. At some point I get a bit irritated, but do my best to keep it to myself. I started wondering if she had a hearing problem. She doesn't to my knowledge (has always tested just fine), so I figured it's just a phase (one that passes very soon I hope!) PS - I'm so glad to read other moms feel this too! I thought I was horrible for being annoyed by it!

Yes and it makes me CRRRAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! =)

He may be perfectly normal, but if your mommy instinct says it isn't, you may want to get him evaluated by an early childhood program. Echolalia can sometimes be a symptom of something else. But if he is normal in every other way, I would not be concerned, just be patient.
V.

Yep! It's typical. My 2 1/2 yo does the same thing. And I used to find myself answering EVERY time he asked. Now if he asks something I will tell him. If he asks again I will say it 1 more time just to be sure he actually heard me the 1st time. If he asks again I will say "You heard me". Then he will usually say Oh & repeat the answer I just gave him then say ok. And we are done. Until the next question comes up of course...

My 2.5 yo does this. My solution has been to answer once, or twice, and then say, "Do you remember what I just said? Where is it?" Sometimes he will repeat the answer, sometimes he doesn't know, so I will repeat again. When he asks again, I say, "You tell me", and he does. That seems to end it, or he will answer it for himself. Lately though, he likes to have me repeat things. That I don't mind so much. He likes to know why we are stopping while driving, and he will then tell me, because the light is red. He gets confused when there are more than one light, and I will explain what all the lights are for. He will say, tell me again....tell me again...then I will have him tell me.

Updated

My 2.5 yo does this. My solution has been to answer once, or twice, and then say, "Do you remember what I just said? Where is it?" Sometimes he will repeat the answer, sometimes he doesn't know, so I will repeat again. When he asks again, I say, "You tell me", and he does. That seems to end it, or he will answer it for himself. Lately though, he likes to have me repeat things. That I don't mind so much. He likes to know why we are stopping while driving, and he will then tell me, because the light is red. He gets confused when there are more than one light, and I will explain what all the lights are for. He will say, tell me again....tell me again...then I will have him tell me.

I would think it's pretty normal, as most posts have said. But if he's repeating himself without waiting for an answer- as if he's saying the phrase just to say it, that would worry me a little. I think a few neurological disorders, such as ocd and turrets syndrome, can have verbal tics where a phrase or word is repeated. I am no expert and this is most likely not the case, but really, if you're worried- talking to your pediatrician is the best course of action. They will be able to put your mind at ease or recognize if there actually is something going on.
Good luck!

My son did constantly at age 3 and 4. My daughter does a little bit now, but not nearly as bad as he did. I think it's pretty normal for this age, and some are worse than others. They just want to talk and communicate, they are leraning how to create conversations, rather than sentences. I don't think he has ADHD, I just think he loooooooves to talk. Now that he is 6 he no longer repeats himself, but he can go on and on about a certain topic forever. You might just have a "chatty cathy" hands.
It drove me crazy and to be honest, nothing I did stopped it. I over explained, I asked him to answer his own questions, I answered immediately, I took a long time to answer. Sometimes I got so frustrated I would ignore him or yell, because seriously, he repeated everything all day long, every day. He just eventually grew out of it. I know that doesn't help at all, just try to grin and bear it for now. ;) Now I see the little conversationalist that he is, and I feel proud that he is easily able to speak to anyone about anything. I think it's a great characteristic to have, as I find myself very tongue-tied at times.

Is there a chance you're hearing his question wrong & your answer doesn't make sense to him so he keeps repeating it? I've done that before many times. I always verify back what I heard my daughter ask to be sure I'm answering the proper question. :) Good luck!

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