My 2.7year old son repeats everything I say. Should I be doing something to stop this habbit?

Jenny - posted on 09/15/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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For example, if something bad happened to make him cry I might say "Tell mummy what happened" and he'll say "Tell mummy".
I'll ask him "What did you do with grandma today?" He'll say "Do with grandma today?"

You get the drift. Is this bad?
Sometimes he knows what to say and after repeating "Do with grandma today?" He'll say "Play". Should I / is there a way to help him eliminate repeating me and just get to saying his part of the conversation?

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I do not think you need to ask only simple yes/no questions, but if you notice he has trouble answering, help him. Let him repeat your question, then say the answer and let him repeat that. That said, it will not hurt to include simple yes/no questions as well. Being able to answer on his own will build his confidence and give him a desire to do more.

I myself learn and understand a lot of things better if I can say them out loud--I read assembly instructions and recipes out loud all the time, because that is the only way I can make any sense of them. I also learn a new process by actually doing it--like a dance move. I can watch someone do it, but it won't fully click until I do it myself. Your son is performing a similar process when he repeats you--he watches you first, then does it himself :)

Jenni - posted on 09/15/2011

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I personally wouldn't worry about it. I think he's just practicing the art of conversation by modelling you. ;)

I'm sure it's just a phase and will pass.

You could provide the appropriate response for him in the meantime... if you know he coloured with Grandma that day. You could ask the question. When he repeats you. Respond as though you're him: "(His name) coloured pretty pictures with Grandma today!"

But I think it'll pass and it's not harmful. So I don't think there's too much to worry about.

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Jenny - posted on 09/15/2011

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Thank you all!

He has been doing this ever since he's started talking, so it's been a while now and I'm starting to get concerned.

Thanks for pointing out that it's probably just the specific way that he learns, that's helpful to know. Hopefully he'll make the jump in the next 6months +.



Any other ideas about how I can help him? Should I stop him when he starts to repeat my sentence and say instead "Isaac colored in with grandma today!" so that he can repeat that instead of my question?



Or maybe I'm too ahead for him, and should just be asking him something I know he can answer to. I.e "Did Isaac color in with grandma today?" and he will answer "Yes" to this. So maybe I should do that instead of ask him to tell me what he did?

Jaime - posted on 09/15/2011

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From the sounds of it, your son is likely an auditory/visual learner. He hears what you're saying and as he repeats the words, he is connecting them to an image in his mind. some kids can answer a question without taking this step, but it's because they learn differently. If an auditory learner is asked a question they can very easily answer it without connecting to an image. If a visual learner is asked a question, it might take them a few more steps before they are able to connect words to an image. Kinesthetic learners are also very different in how they learn...through touch/play/manipulation of objects. Every person has one main learning type and often a secondary type. I am a visual/auditory learner...I have a photographic memory and as long as I chunk things into categories I can memorize them with ease. I think this is why your son repeats things you say before he answers them...it's a step in his development process and will likely become less prominent as he learns how to make the connection from auditory to visual more quickly. I hope that helps you.

JuLeah - posted on 09/15/2011

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He is learning language, and we all learn in our own way. If he is still doing this in a year or so, have it checked out. But for now, I'd not worry.

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