Helping your Toddler Communicate Through Speech
As your child grows, he is likely to copy the sound he hears around or the words which you use for communicating. From babbling baby-talk, to assembling words and finally asking questions, ordering, giving directions, reading out stories, you will see your child going through all these phases while learning how to talk.
As parents start conversing with their toddlers, they create more opportunities for them to learn talking. As your toddler finds fun in recollecting words, he will start learning and implementing them. There are numerous ways how parents can help their toddlers to talk.
- Communicate with your toddler as often as possible. Watch his curious face and be interested to respond, whenever he tries to explain something to you.
- Focus on what he tries to communicate and not on how clearly it was pronounced. This will increase his confidence to talk to you.
- When the pronunciation is successful, give him proper feedback.
- Match your words and your actions, for instance, while opening his shoes, say “shoes off” and then “socks off”, etc.
- When you serve lunch to your toddler, hold the plate out and tell him that it’s lunch time. He will understand that his food is ready and will come at the table. He would also smell the food or see you settle the table to understand that ‘its lunch time’ and then, you don’t need other cues to make it obvious.
- When you talk to your toddler, take his name and make eye contact so that he knows that he is being spoken to.
- During the regular activities, interact and let him get opportunities to respond back through words. If you ask a question, give a pause and wait for him to reply.
- You must expose your child to new circumstances and introduce unfamiliar words and objects. Take him for a stroll or a bus ride, and point out things as you see around. Spell them out to make him understand how differently things are pronounced. Reply back when your toddler tries to repeat what you say. He might not be clear with the pronunciations but these are signs of learning.
- Expand the term that your toddler fails to pronounce. For instance, he might say ‘nana’ as he asks for a banana. Peel a banana for him and pronounce the name properly while giving it to him – “Here is the ‘Banana’ for you”.
- Use short and simple sentences while talking to your toddler and emphasize on the words that you want your child to learn. This would help him grasp the important information.
- Keep distractive background music off, like TV or radio. This would help him have better focus when you communicate. Children often have problems to concentrate with background noises.
Parents must note that every child has his own pace to reach milestones. Though, an average age for this development is always mentioned, but this may vary from toddler to toddler. Talking ability in children, develops at its own pace, but parents must cooperate in order to enhance talking skills of their toddler.