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Talking and children: Is it ADHD when my child talks too much?


My child talks a lot and everyone thinks it is ADD / ADHD

Recently, my sister had a situation with her five-year-old son and his school. Her son’s teacher asked for a special conference with her. The teacher explained to her that her son talked too much. The teacher expressed concern with this behavior and suggested he should be evaluated for ADD / ADHD.

She asked my sister to speak to him about his talkative nature. The teacher asked my sister to stop him from talking too much. My sister left the school thinking her son may suffer ADD / ADHD. She scheduled an appointment for an evaluation. When she received the results that he had no learning disabilities or attention deficits, she was confused.

She spoke to the teacher again and asked for an explanation of the problem. The teacher explained that he did listen when she spoke, but once the lesson was finished, he would walk around the room and talk to everyone. He was the only child who talked excessively and she was concerned with this behavior.


Should you tell a child they talk too much?

My sister was not sure how to approach the situation and asked for my opinion. The situation with my nephew was like déjà vu. When I was a child, I remember my parents received the same complaints that my sister did- the talking too much and the concern with possible learning developments.

My dear Father heard this complaint through my entire years of school. Every conference involved the issue of talking too much. Every now and then, the subject of ADD / ADHD was mentioned. Even though I had the highest grades in the class, my Father was instructed to correct my talkative nature.

Now, I fast forward to the present as an adult. My perspective of what a talkative child means is different than many adult's definition. My talkative nature developed into a great career that centers around excellent communication skills. I spent my childhood talking too much and now find it the most important part of my career. Not all children that talk a lot suffer from ADD / ADHD or have potential learning problems. They are gaining a valuable skill for their future careers.

Is it ADD / ADHD?

I do think children should be evaluated for any potential problems that could compromise their advancements in life. I do agree that any potential problems that affect a child’s growth and potential, such as learning disabilities or ADD / ADHD, should be corrected quickly. If there really is a development issue, a child should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential and not be restricted by a development that could be improved or corrected.

Children are the future of our society. If we prevent children from reaching their full potential, we may restrict society’s future as well. If we tell a child not to talk so much, we may be restricting them from being an individual and indirectly telling them not to be themselves. If the child was evaluated and there were no concerns with their abilities to grow, then what really is the problem with a talkative child? Are we preventing children from becoming individuals that could benefit our society? Do we really want them to be just like everyone else?

One issue that should be corrected is the ability to understand WHEN they should talk- not necessarily to stop talking. A child is still developing their social skills. They may not understand when it is appropriate to talk and when it is appropriate to listen. This part requires development and direction. Identifying the difference between when to talk and when to listen- is different than telling them not to talk at all. This is important to help them develop into a great individual.


Building a social skill

Talkative children possess an important social skill that most adults will spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to learn in their lives. This is a skill that they acquired without spending a dime! Why ruin this? This is not a skill that should be corrected, but developed. When I watch my nephew socializing with other children, I cannot help but reminisce about my childhood.

When a child reaches the age of five, they begin to develop their own identity. They begin to develop their own skills, interests, and hobbies. This give us, the adult, insight into what they will become. If every adult looked back to the age of five, they would realize their skills and identity began to blossom around this time. The toys that were appealing, the books that were interesting, and the games played, painted the picture of what they would choose as a career in adulthood.

If a child does have a learning or behavior disability, they need the proper attention that will help them develop into a successful adult. If the child is just talkative, they require the understanding of when talking is proper. Not necessarily keeping them quiet. Preventing growth and development of a child would affect their self-esteem and prevent them from reaching their full potential.

What do you think?

Keep talking

Still want to keep your child quiet? Well, here’s one more thought into this topic…What if the talkative, expressive child that constantly got into trouble for talking, turned out to become our next politician, attorney general, teacher, writer, actor, or motivational speaker? Many individuals use their ability to speak effectively by building a successful career out of their ability to talk a lot. If you knew this right now, would you prevent your child from talking too much?

Every child has special talents that they possess, and every child should be allowed to develop into an individual. If their individual self includes expression through words, then why not allow them to develop this into a successful future?

I encourage everyone to give a child the freedom to develop their skills and talents, and allow them to teach us, the adults, about the importance of being an individual that many of us lose in our own lives. Not only are children our future, but the decisions we make to alter their growth affect their happiness and our own. Why ruin this?

My sister realized that my nephew was just a talkative child who loved to communicate with everyone. As she put it, “He was social and needed to talk.” Every child has their own unique way of self-expression. We need to let them express themselves. The comment I remember my Father telling me after every teacher conference still sticks in my mind when I am told I talk too much.…. ”Keep talking. Someone is listening.”


mum14 on October 30, 2014:

This is just exactly the issue I have at every parents meeting I have with my son's teachers he has experienced a difficult time in early years with one teacher who made it out to be a huge problem to the point of my child being reduced to tears for being too talkative -instead of finding a way to embrace his love of language he was made to feel as in her words a disgrace!

He has been the most vocal baby I or anybody had come across and now being 10 he will hold an intelligent conversation with anybody- so once I was concerned now I am jubilant he is who is. And what a great thing for your father to say somebody will always be listening - yes we will!

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on August 28, 2012:

It is true that children need to learn when they can talk and when they need to listen, especially in the school environment.

Children have to sit and be quiet for a long time during the school day, which is why it's important for children to be able to get their energy out through sports, friendships, etc.

Also, ALL children need to have loving parents that will motivate and listen to them too.

Communication should be emphasized and embraced as long as it's not distracting to others who need it to be quiet for reading, studying, etc. It's all about respect!

In my opinion, doctors are too quick to label ADHD (active and inactive Hyperactivity) now and parents are too quick to medicate. Let the kids be kids!

miakouna (author) on February 24, 2012:

Thank you for the comment. I really appreciate the feedback.

Mr. Smith from Indiana on February 24, 2012:

This is a neat look into a very important topic.