QUESTION: My just-turned 4-year-old repeats things he has heard or has said before. For example, even though my brother’s family moved away nearly two years ago, whenever we drive by their old house he will say, “There’s Uncle Frank’s house!” He also asks questions when he knows the answers. For example, if I’m wearing a green dress, and even though he knows his colors, he will ask, “Is your dress green, Mommy?” Lately, when he asks a question of this sort, I ask him, “What do you think?” I want him to answer his own question, but he immediately becomes quiet. He’s obviously bright, but I’m beginning to think there may be something wrong. In any case, this habit of his has become very irritating. What do you think?

ANSWER: I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. If there is a problem, it would fall into one of three “D” categories: discipline, development or disorder. You’re certainly not describing a discipline problem. Furthermore, my rather extensive experience as a parent, grandparent, and family psychologist tells me that what you’re describing is no big deal.

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