Dealing with Annoying Mouth Noises – How to Handle Repetitive Impulsive Sounds
Sometimes, young kids can do something and there is seemingly no reason for it. Impulsive actions and sounds are one of these things. They can be quite an annoyance for kids and parents alike. If your kid has developed an annoying habit that is driving you a little bit nuts, you might have one thing on your mind – how can I make this stop? That is the issue we’re tackling in this guide.
Perhaps the key to dealing with mouth noises isn’t to stop them altogether, but to find a new way to direct those impulses. A reader wrote into this blog about her six-year-old son who seems to constantly be making annoying, repetitive mouth noises.
What are these noises all about? And what can we do about them? This article is meant to help her, and also other parents who may be facing the same issue. We share resources and ideas, including ways you can help transform very annoying noises into something more tolerable.
6 Year Old Constantly Making Annoying Mouth Noises
I seem to recall reading here that one of your sons had issues with “mouth noises”? My 6 year old started with this over the summer and it’s nearly non-stop now. It’s repetitive, really annoying as you can imagine, and (I think) disruptive and disrespectful (though I know he doesn’t mean it to be!) I wonder what to do about it – if anything. Should I just ignore it and hope it goes away?
One of the thoughts I had was not just the ‘annoyance’ around this but obviously what point does it serve. Is it, as they say in the therapy world, “stimming”? Is it a nervous habit, is it helpful/harmful, should a professional be consulted, etc…?
Wondering if you or your readers have any thoughts or similar experiences with a child constantly making noises?
Ideas to Help Deal With Mouth Noises:
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Thanks for your question Beth! The issue of repetitive noises is quite a bit more common than a parent may think. Although every kid is different, so we can’t guarantee a solution, there are some tried and true methods that are worth a try.
Annoying mouth noises have been happening around my house as well, and being bothered by noise is one of my own anger triggers. In this section, I’ll give you some tips that I’ve found helpful.
You’ll notice that many of these tips and tricks are based around giving the child a productive action to distract themselves from the annoying, repetitive sound. It’s often the case that, in order to effectively solve an issue, we must present a child with an alternative to that issue. This helps them solve the problem in way that is productive.
A few things I’ve found helpful in dealing with repetitive noises:
- It’s no secret to my son that these noises get irritating to us, and he doesn’t want to make them at school so we practice taking a deep breath when he’s wanting to make the noises to try and stop the urge. This is only marginally successful, but a helpful response for anyone to learn when they want to stop a habit, so I figure it won’t hurt at least.
- Kids who make mouth noises may be able to control them if they can take out their impulses with a mouth fidget toy instead – something for chewing and other sensory input.
- Sometimes I start singing to distract myself, or I ask him to sing me a song. These actions will occupy your children in a fun and productive way. And instead of making annoying noises, they can work on their singing. Sometimes, kids may even develop an interest in music, which allows them to make noise in a much more constructive manner.
- Chewing gum can be helpful, but I would suggest a brand like Spry that’s good for teeth with xylitol, if they’re going to be chewing a lot of it. Keeping their mouth active and occupied might be the key to addressing this behavior.
- Active Outdoor Activities: Some kids are bursting with energy, they just want to play! Impulsive behaviors can be a result of an abundance of energy. Children don’t have any place to put this energy, and it comes out in repetitive and annoying tics. Try to encourage your kids to get outside and be active. Provide them with games and activities that they can play outside.
We had some feedback from our community as well. Here are some tips from our readers which may help you deal with this issue:
- I really struggle with this. My only suggestion is a script so that you don’t snap. I use: If you need to make that noise can you please go out side/in the other room/ basically any where but here…lol.
- Help them learn to beatbox…no really I think this is helpful because at least it is less annoying and less monotonous.
NOTE: Not All Kids Are The Same, Some Issues are More Serious than Others
- Of course, I’ve written this article from my own experience. Keep in mind that not every child has the same needs, and not every child’s impulsive behaviour will be driven by the same reason. As such, this article is not meant to be taken as an automatic solution for repetitive behavior in all children. Hopefully, my experience helps you, but please don’t think of this as a “cover-all” All kids are different, and all require individualized attention.
- It might be the case that your child needs professional attention to diagnose the issue, especially if it appears to be more than a simple “tic”, and are causing real stresses and real behavioural issues. Impulsive and challenging behavior can be a sign of a greater issue, such as ADHD, Tourette syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or another anxiety disorder or developmental disorder.
- I am not a doctor, and would not attempt to diagnose any of that here simply based a child’s tics. This is just to say that this is a possibility, and you should seek the opinion of a professional if you are particularly concerned with chronic tics or behavioural issues.
Books on Sensory Processing:
- Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues
- Everyday Games for Sensory Processing Disorder
- The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day
Helpful Links for Dealing with Mouth Noises:
- Sensory Processing Explained | Oral Sensory System [from Lemon Lime Adventures]
- Calm Down Kids – Blow Bubbles – One of our favorite oral-motor and calming activities
- Printable Sensory Activities Sheet – includes a variety of activities, some oral.
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