Hello, welcome to Tips on Teens, this is Kent Toussaint, licensed marriage and family therapist
coming to you live on Facebook to answer your parenting questions every Wednesday at noon.
Here is today's question. I have a 10 year old that still talks like a baby and makes weird noises.
She only does it at home and it's driving me crazy. I know she can stop if she wanted to because
she doesn't do this at school. She really needs to stop. It's so annoying. How can I make her talk
normal all the time? Love this question. In fact, it's funny. I have two clients' families who
are dealing with the exact same situation and I've dealt with many clients, many families who've
dealt with this situation and it comes down to this. First, I want to acknowledge that you're
frustrated and you're irritated and parents are people too and you have feelings and I get that.
I think it's really important to acknowledge. Secondly, your child is having feelings. And
when a ten -year -old is going through emotional
regression, which is a very common thing, kids go through it all the time, where a child is acting
much younger than their chronological age. And generally speaking, it is because they're
trying to fill an emotional need that's not being met. That's how most of us live in the world.
We're always trying to fill emotional needs. You know, we are mostly unconscious in our world.
We have a little bit of conscious thought and awareness, but most of our thoughts, reactions
are unconscious. So my hunch is your ten -year -old's reactions at home are unconscious. This
regression is unconscious. There could be a thousand of reasons why. You know, what is the emotional
need? This does not mean that you are a bad parent. It does not mean you are a neglectful parent.
It does not mean you are an abusive parent. It means you're a parent and she's a child and she's
human and she's going through some stuff. Now it could be that she's regressing to an emotional
state when things where she was feeling that
emotionally being met. Maybe it was before the divorce. Maybe it was before school started.
You know there could be a lot of stress at school and just because she's keeping it together at
school doesn't mean that she's happy at school. There could be some stressors at school going
on and she holds on really tight and she comes home and relaxes and lets it all out, lets the weird
noises out and the baby talk out, which is like fingernails going down the chalkboard for you,
right? So I encourage you not to tell her to stop. I encourage you not to shame her. I think that
is going to prolong the situation. Instead, try to connect with her and find out what that emotional
need is. You know, maybe she just needs to be helped, you know, and is she acting in a playful way?
Does she need more playfulness? Does she acting in a sad way? Does she need more consolation
from you? You know there's a lot of ways you can do it but it's connecting with her emotions that
will help you guide that emotional
need to be met. Now some of you right now are thinking I don't want to reward this behavior if she's
acting this way and I give her a hug or I play with her I'm just teaching her to keep acting this
way and I disagree. I think what will happen is the more you meet your child's emotional need,
the behavior will change. And you can talk to her about how she's using baby talk or these loud
noises as a way to get that emotional need met, and then you can make it more conscious for her
and teach her new ways. You can say, hey, why don't you come over and tell me you need a hug? I'm
happy to give you a hug. Tell me you want to talk about things. I'm happy to talk about things.
Tell me you want to play more. I'll try to make time to play with you more. You know, it depends
on what's going on. But if you just treat the behavior, you're missing everything underneath,
and the behavior is a symptom of the emotions. So it's really important that we address the emotions.
I'm trying to think if there's
anything else I wanted to say about this. There probably was, but it's slipping my mind. If there's
something else, I'll write it in on the messages below. Thank you for tuning in, and for your
questions, keep them coming. If you have a new question or a follow -up question you'd like me
to answer on Tips on Teens, you can email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com or just
direct message us right here on Facebook. We love to hear from you. Thanks again, and I'll see
you next Wednesday, 12 o 'clock. Bye -bye.
Is your teen still making baby noises or engaging in baby-talk? Is it driving you crazy?!
This week’s #TipsOnTeens comes from a parent who is getting tired of hearing those noises! What would you recommend?
“I have a ten year old that still talks like a baby and makes weird noises. She only does it at home and it’s driving me crazy! I know she can stop if she wanted to because she doesn’t do this at school. She really needs to stop. It’s so annoying. How can I make her talk normal all the time?”
Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live. He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.