Parent Tip: “One and Done” Catch Phrase to Stop Repetitive Language from Your Child

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Language, Resources for Parents | No Comments

A common parent complaint I get is repetitive language from their child(ren), where the child repeats the same thing over and over again until it drives the parent(s) crazy. Often it’s a request for a desired item (“Mom, can I have a cookie? … mom, can I have a cookie? … mom, can I have a cookie?”).

In fact, I hear this from my parent friends as well as the parents of my clients, and my own three boys have definitely taken turns driving me up the wall by saying the same thing over and over. How can you stop repetitive language from your child?

Here’s a little trick that works great for me, both in my clinic and my own home:

I like using “catch phrases” to give short-hand reminders to a child. The catch phrase “one and done” is excellent to address and stop repetitive language.

First I explain to the child that “one and done” means that they only need to say something once, and that once they have said it to me once they have delivered their message and they don’t need to keep repeating it (and that it frustrates other people when you say the same thing over and over). Then I explain that if I tell them “one and done,” it means that I have heard them and acknowledge them, but that I don’t want them to keep repeating it. So if I have a child using repetitive language, I can quickly tell them “one and done” to redirect them, and if necessary can follow up with “say something different” to let them know it is time to move on.

Just be aware that your child will eventually use it back on you when you start nagging them to clean their room 🙂 No good deed goes unpunished!

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