our everyday life

How to Get Children to Stop Repeating Themselves

by Jaimie Zinski

Otherwise known as the “broken record syndrome,” toddlers and preschoolers constantly repeat words, phrases and questions on what seems like a never-ending basis. You might find your child’s penchant for repetition infuriating, but according to Everyday Family, repeating words and phrases is a healthy, normal learning process that many smaller children go through. Luckily, the website also points out that this behavior generally ends as the child matures, but there are ways to lessen the behavior and give yourself a few minutes of blissful silence.

Answer your child’s question or respond to his repetitive phrasing the first time. For instance, if your child is incessantly asking when you are going to the park, reflect back his question before giving him a straight answer. For instance, tell him, “Yes, I know that you want to go to the park. We are going after your sister finishes her homework.”

Tell your child that constantly repeating the same phrase, word or question isn’t entertaining or amusing after the first time. Sit your child down and tell him, “Telling me the joke or that your sister is annoying the first time was enough. It’s not funny and Mommy doesn’t like it when you tell her the same thing over and over again.”

Provide your child with a more captive, albeit inanimate, audience. Parenting suggests lining up your child’s dolls or stuffed animals and instructing your child to tell them the funny joke or sing them the same song repetitively. Sure, the stuffed teddy bears won’t react, but at least your child will have someone to tell the same knock-knock joke to 10 times.

Distract your child from incessantly singing the same song, asking the same question or simply repeating the same phrase. For instance, when your child begins singing the same verse of his favorite kid tune over and over, give him another activity to keep him occupied and engaged, such as a puzzle or book.

Wait it out. For the most part, a child’s repetitive speech patterns will discontinue as he ages, according to Everyday Family. If your child continues to repeat himself constantly once he enters school, or the issue becomes worse, it’s time to take the matter to his pediatrician.