8-year-old talks too much and can't seem to stop

Parent Q&A

June 07, 1998|By T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. | T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.,NEW YORK TIMES SPECIAL FEATURES

Q.My granddaughter, who will be 8 this summer, started getting into trouble at school this year for constantly talking out of turn. We've talked with her about this, and she's said she can't help it.

We've tried rewarding her when she doesn't do it. We've even tried letting her call the punishment when she does. Neither of these methods have worked.

Your help would be appreciated.

A.It sounds as if you have done all the things I would have suggested. Do the teachers have any ideas about how to help her?

Is your granddaughter seeking more attention than she's getting? I'd surely try to help her by increasing your loving attention. When you are feeling close, you can then reassure her that although you know she tries to control herself, her behavior isn't fair to the other children in the class who need to speak.

Q.I read your recent advice to a mother on weaning a child from a bottle. You mentioned that a child would ruin his future teeth if he went to sleep with a bottle.

I recently read that this is true only if the bottle contains juice - not if it has milk or water. I value your advice, but I'm confused on this one.

My 1 1/2-year-old daughter enjoys her bottle at bedtime. She usually throws the bottle out of bed when she's done and rarely falls asleep with it in her mouth. Her bottle is a real comfort to her, but I would hate for her to be doing something that will hurt her teeth.

A. Milk is as destructive to future teeth as is juice if you leave a child with a bottle in bed. Water is not.

Your daughter's bottle as a lovey may be very important to her. If you do give her juice or milk at night, follow it with a bottle of water.

When you are ready to wean her from the bottle, tie it to a lovey that she can hold on to. When she finally attaches to the new lovey, you can gradually drop out the bottle. But there's no hurry.

Address questions to Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, care of the New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., 122 E. 42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10168. Questions of general interest will be answered in this column; unpublished letters cannot be answered individually.

Pub Date: 6/07/98

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