My daughter repeats phrases during meltdowns...advice?

My 3-year old daughter has been having these meltdowns where she will repeat a word or a phrase literally the entire meltdown. And the meltdown will last 30-45 minutes. For example, yesterday she had a meltdown (I don’t know what sparked it) and she kept saying on repeat “I don’t want to”. She won’t say anything else, just the word/phrase on repeat.


I’ve never experienced this with my daughters, but I do remember them being too young to communicate and articulate their emotions. I say, give some space and reach out when she’s calmed.

I have never heard of this but it is probably just a phase. Have you tried walking away from her and not feeding into it? I am not saying ignore her feelings. But something like " okay, I have heard you, Sweetheart. I understand. When you are ready to use more of your words about it mommy will be happy to speak with you about it." If she doesn’t listen just take a time out for yourself. I learned that the more I worried about the crazy phases my daughter went through the longer they lasted.

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Maybe see about having her tested for Autism if she’s having these 45 meltdowns regularly… Early intervention programs are brilliant!


If she’s on the spectrum, look into this

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When my middle daughter was younger, probably age five to about seven or eight, when she’d get really upset or have a “meltdown” she would repeat dialogues from movies she would watch. Almost like acting out a scene from them. So like if there was a (bratty/moody) character, say Barbie in animated movies, she’d literally word for word repeat them. And actually in the right context! It was bizarre. But we stopped feeding in to it. She’d get started doing it and we’d just sit there and either watch her or walk away but not engage and eventually she just grew out of it. I believe it may be a form of self regulation but who knows. Kids are weird.


That’s normal. My son repeats that ‘I’m not going to listen’ over and over. I just ignore him and let him have the meltdown sometimes kids just need a safe place to cry and scream.


Echolalia or just a three year old being a three year old. I would bring up this concern with your doctor so you have documentation if this is a concern later on.

She’s probably frustrated and it’s the only thing she can do to regulate
Let her regulate and try talking to her when she is calm
Leave her be
She is three we get frustrated and just want to scream simple things and people who don’t listen too. It’s human.


Don’t read too much into this. We females like to make a point.

Maybe you’re forcing her to do things she doesn’t like doing.:thinking:

She’s 3 and doesn’t know how to express herself any other way than that. She knows she doesn’t want to…so that’s what she’s going to say.

My son wasn’t very vocal but when it came to a “meltdown” he was the same way , I did teach both my boys sign language so I would ask him in a very calm soft voice to use his hand words and eventually it started working and we were communicating but it did take time they are still very young at 3 years of age !

She’s 3 , she’s learning to communicate.

Stop what we’re doing , get to her level, and start breathing nice and slow and start counting stay low tone
She will eventually catch on and join in
And if that doesn’t help
Walk away before you do so say when your ready we can talk . When she walks up , do not ask what is wrong, first ask for snuggles and calm her down . The figure out what’s going on.

My daughter does this. We were diagnosed with adhd. When your brain moves that fast ( especially when she’s upset) the only thing to come out is a simple phrase or word. She would say “I can’t” on repeat for what felt like forever, regardless of the situation. Check with your doctor and be sure to watch for those flags. It’s better to check those boxes when they are young. Might save you some stress in the future. Good luck

My son does this when he’s over tired

She’s frustrated.
Teach her to communicate.
Use words with her - “I’m frustrated”
“That makes me feel sad/upset/angry/lonely”
“I need a hug”

She emulates YOU but she has to know what to do first. Teach her words - teach her sign language for babies too. The more tools she has for communicating, the less frustrated she’ll be.

100% worked for my family.

My 3 year old does the exact same thing and it is a nightmare.

Sounds like a sensory overload .

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What do you expect,?She is a 3 year w