Friday, January 29, 2010

Nonsense Questions

We don't have so much of the nonsense chatter any more. We sometimes get the nonsense questions but not to the extent we used too. I thought I'd share some ways that helps us.

Constant questions:

Our kids generally have a lot of anxiety in the car. I assume it is because they were moved so much and it brings up the "Where are they taking me?" feelings of long ago. So the questions would start firing. We have a "No questions in the car" rule. So when they say "When we get home can I go outside? What is for dinner? Why is that man limping?" I simply said "No questions in the car?" If that did not stop them I'd say "If you ask me in the car the answer will be the opposite of what you want. Would you like for me to go ahead and answer or do you want to wait until we get home?"  If you do feel they are having anxiety I think it is good to play soothing music, happy music and sing. That would improve the mood or cause them to quiet at least. I only have a "Mom voice" when it comes to singing but it has always had a very calming effect on them. I think it is because when they first came at ages 3 and 6 I sang to them and roked them every night.

One of the boys was SO caught up in asking questions morning to night we had to limit him to 8 questions a day. That is how many we would answer. So it went something like this:

"Why is that car green?"
"The person must like green cars. That is 1 question."
After 8 questions we'd say "I'm sorry you are out of questions for today. Ask tomorrow."

It was not long before he'd say "Why.....wait. I dont want to waste a question on that."

"Way to think things through kiddo. Great job"

Nonsense Questions:

Nonsense questions get nonsense answers. So when dad walks past and Bear says "Hi dad", Dad says hi as he is walking up the stairs. Then Bear would say "Where is dad?" To which I'd reply "Down stairs".  Bear would smile and say "Noooooooooooooo he is not." I'd just say "Oh."

Or if we are shopping and see a pair of pants and they say "What is that?" I'd say "A shirt." They always smiled because they always knew.

Don't make a big deal out of the questions. Dont' try to force them to tell you that they already know. Lighten up and move on. When they don't get attention for it they lose interest.  Never, never, never quit!


peggysue said...

We don't get nonsense questions as much as we get nonsense comments, although the frequency is far, far less than it was a few years ago. Boy, I wish I had known what we were dealing with when we first brought our daughter home, but no one tells you these things. I've offered to speak at our church for parents who are considering adopting post institutionalized children and what they might expect, but no one has taken me up on the offer.

Anyway, what do you do if it isn't a question, but a comment? Would you recommend limiting it in the same way? "That care sure is blue." "That sign points up." That kind of thing.

Brenda said...

I would make another nonsense comment or ignore it. I might tell her I can't hear silly comments. At our house we called that Nonsense chatter. It is nervous chatter just because they can't calm themselves enough to stop. I'd sometimes say "Nonsense chatter. You are safe. Calm yourself."

SanitySrchr said...

The nonsense questions from my son have driven me absolutely insane!! So insane that I've never put two-and-two together to realize there is potentially a solution. Bam Bam's questions usually consist of "What if's" related to what we are doing.

For instance, if we are fishing...
Him: "What if we catch a fish?"
Me: "It depends on what kind of fish and how big it is."
Him: "What if it's xxx?" which usually proceeds up to the rediculous "What if we catch an alligator?" or worse.
I never realized it's because he can't physically calm himself.

You're awesome! Thank you so much for all your help and advise.

LemonyRenee' said...

This is helpful. Thanks.

Miz Kizzle said...

I don't know much about RAD, just what I read in blogs like yours. What is the reason for the nonsense questions? What pay pff do kids get from asking them?
I've known kids who were chatterers, but that seemed to be motivated by liveliness and exuberance. I took my daughter and her friend to a flower show years ago and the friend said something like, "I'm so excited! I've never been to a flower show before. Let's talk about flowers," and she proceeded to chatter about flowers for the next twenty minutes until we got to the place where the show was.
It was cute but sort of exhausting. I can imagine that the nonsense RAD chatter wears you out.