A Four-Year-Old That Doesn’t Stop

By Meika Rouda

My son has a lot of energy. I know most 4-year-old boys have a lot of energy, everyone out there with one is going “oh, you should see MY son.” But my son has more than the average 4-year-old. He is loud, without even realizing how loud he is. And he talks or sings or chats constantly, a continuous stream of sound. Sometimes I feel like I am going mad and I realize it is because I live with noise pollution. It isn’t horrible, I love hearing his songs, how he makes up lyrics or asks insightful questions. He is exuberant, expressive, and lives life to the fullest…volume. He has no filter yet, no self consciousness to halt his feelings, he goes from happy to sad in an instant, celebrates the smallest things like getting hand me down shoes that have laces – laces! What a concept. He can have a full school day, ride his bike for an hour after school, and then go swimming for an hour and still NOT BE TIRED. He is also able to calm himself, playing legos quietly by himself in his room or looking at books but that is not his natural state and never lasts long. His natural state is excitable, high, and full of life.

And sometimes what we love the most about someone is also what drives us crazy. My husband and I struggle with managing this whirling dervish of a roommate, who runs through the house never walking, who has no volume control and has no autopilot switch. Many times we use a hand motion to remind him to lower his voice, I turn an imaginary knob and he will quiet down, from volume 10 to volume 7. He is like a race car always revving. And there are times when managing this bundle of energy, his natural mass of combustable excitement is too hard. I don’t want to squash his spirit, be the parent always yelling at him to be quiet. I love his enthusiasm even when it drives me crazy. But silence is nice too and knowing when to be loud and when to be quiet is actually a learned quality, not innate for everyone. So I try to help realize when to be more quiet, that telling me a story at the dinner table, at volume 9.5 isn’t necessary, I can hear it at volume 5 or even 4. That you don’t have to scream when you sing. That sometimes being quiet offers you a the ability to hear wonderful sounds like birds and crickets. But that isn’t my son, and when he is quiet, it actually makes me a little nervous. I always ask him “are you feeling OK” instead of enjoying the quiet. And ironically, the quiet is only nice for a little while before I start missing the noise.


  1. Sheana Ochoa says

    My son’s about to turn 4 and is just what you describe. You mean he isn’t going to get quieter, mellower, or less combustible at 4?

  2. Meika says

    Unfortunately Sheana they don’t seem to get quieter or mellower. I don’t know what age 5 has in store but I am prepared for more, more, more.

  3. Brandy says

    My daughter is 4 and is a non-stop talker! It’s exhausting!
    Good luck– we will all get through this.

  4. says

    I can verify both Sheana’s son Noah and Brandy’s daughter Sophia. I had the pleasure of spending time with both and I am happy to report they never stopped talking, not for one second of the time I spent with this two whirling dervishes. Meika, I would make sure your son’s hearing is okay as loud children can be hearing impaired (fyi) but if that is okay you just have an exuberant child. As he ages I am hoping for his teacher’s sake he quiets his voice in school. :) Such energy is fabulous as you say but in limited quantities. Hopefully, he will quiet down when he has a hand held in his hand.:)

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