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4-year old excessive talking and strong willed
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4-year old excessive talking and strong willed

My granddaughter is four years old and is in the custody of both sets of grandparents, spending one week at one home and then a week at the home.  Her mother smoked and used drugs during her pregnancy.  We were told that my granddaughter would not start showing signs of problems of her mother's habits until she was three or four.  My granddaughter seems perfectly normal, she's healthy, very smart, and is full of energy.  She's small for her age.  However, there are a few items of concern from both sets of grandparents.  She talks excessively.  You cannot get her to stop talking.  On a 12-hour vacation trip, other children we took with us played and slept.  She was awake the entire time, talking excessively.  You can ask her to be quite for a while, she just can't do it.  However, when at daycare, they do not have the problem with her except at nap time.  She will not take a nap and has to be making some type of noise if not talking, humming, and/or singing.  She is also very demanding.  She does not ask for a drink or something to eat, but demands, "give me" or "I want."  Both sets of grandparents have always taught manners and to ask, say thank you, or please.  She seems to have a mental block when it comes to being quite and not being demanding.  She has just recently become aggressive with other children.  Grabbing things, throwing things; however, not argumentive.  She loves music, singing, playing outside, going to church (has problem sitting still and being quite), knows her ABCs and can count to 20+.  She draws, knows her colors and shapes, rides tricycle well, loves playing with her baby dolls.  Often you will hear her disciplining them the way she gets disciplined.  Loves to play dress up.  She has weekly visits with both parents, but father sees her at "Parents Place."  She refuses to talk about her father and the visits, sometimes has nightmares after a visit.  She loves her mother and asks for her when she gets scolded.  Her behavior is worse after a visit with her mother; however, does not ask for her mother if she does not visit for a week or two.  Grandparents work together to keep routines and discipline on the same level as much as possible.  Daycare staff says she is well adjusted and secure.  The only problem they have with her is at nap time.  She is wearing her grandparents out with her excessive talking and clinging in that she wants to be with you all of the time.  If other children are around, she will go and play with them.  When alone, she has to be in the same room and sometimes hanging on to you.  Standing in the corner is effective punishment most of the time.  Spankings have been happening lately as when she sets her head on whatever she is wanting, she refuses to listen.  She seems well organized, and loves being a "big girl" now that she's four.  We just don't know if she's demonstrating signs of problems from the drug abuse of if she is a hyper active.  Thank you.
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It may well be that, as time goes on, it will be clear that she displays hyperactivity syndrome. Excessive talking is one symptom of ADHD. However, she is only four years old; she seems to be doing quite well, in light of the difficult family situation. One thing you might want to consider, though it has nothing to do with her excessive talking, is to provide her with a principle residence - i.e., one home where she spends most of her time. The 50/50 arrangement you currently have is really not the best thing for a child so young. Children do best when they go to bed and wake up in the same bed on each school day, at least. The back-and-forth that is currently in place is a lot to ask of a small child, even when both sets of grandparents are devoted to her.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I salute both sets of grandparents for stepping up to the plate and taking care of your little girl.  She is so lucky to have such loving grandparents.  She may be displaying ADHD, time will tell, but that is not easy to diagnose sometimes.  She might be just an active talker.  Some kids talk more than others.  As she gets older, and more independent, she might be less demanding.  Things tend to get easier as they get older as far as the attention demands go.  Does she have a steady friend she plays with regularly.  If not, maybe try to cultivate a relationship nearby.
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Avatar_f_tn
was she premature?  My three year old was and is exactly the same.  And I had a normal heathly pregnacy
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Avatar_n_tn
Chattering 4 year olds is pretty common.  They just don't stop.  It does wear you out unless the boundaries, limits are made by all involved and the same and kept.  Even with constant yakking.  Its adult time, and give her that boundarie.  
I used to just let my daughter talk and talk until I realize I don't have to do that, - either engage with her and ENJOY her fully, or do something together more physical, re-focusing that energy.  Also telling her no, it is not the time to talk .
Just simple limits.  
Alot of time it is just allowing the child to take over the air waves because we think she is not harming anything, but being over zealous in this department can zap your energy if you just allow it to go on fully.
woofyto you
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