My Four Year Old Needs Constant Reassurance

Updated on November 10, 2006
S.W. asks from Manhattan, KS
12 answers

I have a four almost five year old daughter. She is a very good and active child, however it seems that she always needs to be reasured of things. I will tell her that she is going to the babysitters in the morning. She will ask over 20 times and a few more before bed time: "Mommy are we going to the sitters in the morning?" It's not just that but other things from what is for dinner to when her birthday is. Any thoughts on why this is or what I can do to have it happen less?"

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter is the same age. She does the same thing. She will ask me the same question a hundred times even though she gets the same answer every time. She is constantly on-the-go
and her imagination is in overdrive. I think it just goes away with time.

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answers from Tulsa on

We use "Accept my answer because I'm not going to tell you again" and then we ignore his constant question, he swithched from asking over and over again to "what did you say" soon after.

This is a form of Attention getting. She knows you will answer every question she will continue to ask.

There are others that you can expect to see:
These are the behaviors that we see to gain the following
Attention: Constant questioning or conversation including pointing out things in the room, sharing worries about weather, family or personal hygiene, noise
Power: Bringing other children’s circumstances into the conversation as in, “and when Bailey gets into trouble he will need to sit in time out.”
Revenge: Physical Aggression including spitting.
Display of inadequacy: I’m a bad boy, I make bad choices, I can’t do it

The best thing to do is be passive about it. Don't explode or acknowledge that you heard the question for the 2nd to 1000th time.

It's hard because we coax them to talk then we can't get them to stop talking. =}

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

What a sweet age. You are doing great! Just keep answering her questions and reassuring her. This will build trust. Some children need to be talked to more than others. She seems to like predictable situations so that she can prepare herself emotionally. This is a good quality and will serve well in the future. She is a planner. And also remember that her little mind only retains so much info at a time. Just be patient with her, she will grow out of it as she continues to build trust with you and trust the world and her environment. Bless you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

My son will be 5 at the end of the month. He's a true chatter box, which I think is genetic!!! I'm a talker and so is he. But, I can relate that the repetition is difficult to handle @ times. I ask him the question, if HE remembers the answer....he usually does!:) I think that little ones just want to be included in "grown up" converstion patterns, so be patient and breathe. If I AM listening, he comes up with some amazing questions for us. I hate to squelch his curiosity and wonder...imagine if Einstein was told to be quiet all the time! Of course he didn't speak until he was 3! I'd never want to limit the questions, even if I can't handle (what FEELS like) constant questioning 24/7! His teachers tell me he knows how to be quiet when in circle time,etc. so, that is reassuring! I agree with the ladies who've mentioned how having a routine helps...
Be patient and grateful your daughter is able to think,speak and reason, and rely on you as her great MOM!



answers from St. Louis on

It is the age. My boys both went thru it and actually my 5 year old isn't as bad now, but my 3 year old is constantly asking the same questions. I encourage him talking and have found that if I say "Are your ears turned up because I will only answer this once" then I thank him for being so inquisitive if that is appropriate for the question. Sometimes I will ask him "do you know the answer" or "what did I say last time you asked that question?" He always knows the answer. I think kids have different stages of this repeating behaviour because it feels comfy for them to know something. I can remember when each of my kids went thru daily touching every feature on my face and naming it multiple times a day. I can remember asking my kids at 9 months "where are my eye brows" and they would point to them. It wasn't until the 1.5 yr mark that they then started naming them back to me constantly. When they are very young they usually cannot communicate well with words. So they depend on us to ask them questions and get responses in some non verbal or sometimes verbal but not understandable way. So when they start talking more they just do what they have witnessed us doing. You can turn it around and at least get her to not ask it so many times if you don't give in and keep reanswering the same question. Make her answer it and then tell her "good for you, I knew you knew the answer." Trust me, it still encourages them to talk and feel free to ask, but reduces the amount you have to answer. Good luck!

B. :)



answers from Wichita on

I would suggest playing "memory games" with her to build her confidence. Examples would be to lay down cards (number cards, picture cards whatever you have on hand the you have a pair) and let her practice the game. Each time she achieves the goal, increase the number of cards to play with. You can also be one step ahead of her by asking her "Do you know where we are going in the morning?" or "do you remember what plans we have made for tomorrow?" This will help her to increase her memory skills and build confidence in herself.
Hope this helps.
C. N.



answers from Peoria on

HOney, kids are question machines. Curiousity. Excitement. It has nothing to do with reassurance. I think dshe just wants to make sure she's going to the sitter, must like it or maybe theres a problem, but if she seems happy when she's asking, I don't tink you should worry



answers from Kansas City on

My nephew went through the same thing and he is still doing it now at age 6 but not as much! It is excitment. I don't think she needs reassurance.

Good Luck Sweetie!



answers from Tulsa on

Yes it's true children ask lots of questions thousands of time it seems but maybe you could make a little book of your daily routine that way you could look at it the night before and then when you get up just as a reminder. So get the camera out and take pics of things you'll be doing and put them in a small picture book or ziplock bags and make a book.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I believe this is normal and just part of her becoming aware of time, her surroundings, and becoming more independant. My son is five and although he can't tell time, he constatnly asks me what time it is. "Why?" has also been his favorite thing to say for about the past 1 1/2 years. He has been asking me every morning if he goes to school today and simular questions of the sort.

Much to my surprise and delite, last Monday (his show & Tell day) he said, "I go to school today right? What should I bring for Show & Tell?" I usually have to remind him of Monday Show & Tell. I was so excited he is learning to take responsibility!!!!

I don't think there is anything you can do to stop this. Yes, it can get very annoying but this is the time in her little life that she is going to find out if she can come to you with any question she has or if she should get her answers elsewhere.



answers from Bloomington on

Hi.. she sounds like fun!! Maybe make a game of it!! IF you could... maybe make a felt board... And make a doll for her on the board.. Ok.. Tomorrow.. You will be at the sitters.. Can you put your doll on the sitters square.... And then just have a square for the sitter.... like blue.... then home is like Pink.... and going to see family maybe yellow.... have different shapes or like a rectangle and glue a pic of the face or faces of that person... have her face on her doll... Maybe that will help.. IF she is moving it.. she can seee that is where we are going...

Good luck and give her a biggggg hug!!!!




answers from Oklahoma City on

With my son I asked him often what he remembered I had said he usually answered his own questions. I also limited his questioning and reasurances to 4 per day and he gained enough confidence that he rapidly grew out of that stage. I was quick to remind him that was question 1 you only have 3 more today so use them wisely this was a great tool since he also learned to prioritize his thoughts, when he hit the 4th question I also remonded him he had hit 4 and I can not answer anymore until tommorrow. Sometimes he would try to ask more questionsand I would either answer with a question or pleasently remind him that was his last question and tell him when he asked more that tommorrow was another day. This was great for him. Let us know how everything worked please.