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Sometimes, understanding what your little angel is telling you might seem such an uphill task. Her vocabulary is not well formed yet, her words are not fluent yet, and what comes out of her mouth seems only gibberish to you.
So how do you understand what your toddler is telling you, and how do you respond back to her in a way she understands? Here are some pointers that you can use in communicating with your toddler, so that the process becomes an enjoyable one instead of leading to frustration.
Mothers love communicating with their children at any age. They start talking to their children as soon as they are born, sometimes even before that. We may feel that the child will not understand what’s being said, but in reality, it is our talks that fuels brain development in our kids. The children learn new words and tones from our talks and increase their language skills and vocabulary listening to us.
Every form of communication between parents and children is important to foster communication skills in the toddlers. That is why singing lullabies to children is an age-old tradition in every culture.
Here are different methods you can employ to communicate effectively with your toddler.
1. Use signs
Using sign language is something that most mothers rely on to explain simple things to their children. You may start with simple signs like eating, drinking and sleeping. Let your toddler associate the words with the action. Make it a point to repeat while you are doing a certain activity and give the toddler time to understand and grasp the sign.
2. Listen well
Whenever your child is trying to tell you something, listen to her. More often than not, you may not understand her easily, but make her feel heard. Gently correct her and let her repeat. Whenever she points at something, elaborate on the surroundings. Help her with actions and sounds to understand what she wants to communicate.
3. Go to the playground
Taking your child to a playground is a great idea to improve her communication. Try and find a place where there is a group of children because children learn more when they are with their own age group. You may use the surroundings to communicate a lot of things and improve her vocabulary. You could also use a lot of natural references which are otherwise not available in our homes.
4. Ask questions
You can start by asking very basic questions to your child. This will help you to understand your child’s development and her response. Begin by asking things like what she wants to eat; give her options of apple or banana. Let her choose and feel empowered. You may also give her choice on clothes, if needed, so that she is continuously involved with her growth and development.
5. Use songs and rhymes
Nursery rhymes were written so that toddlers can have fun singing and dancing to them. You will notice all these rhymes have a singing tone, and you can play around with a lot of gestures. Sing to your child and let her repeat. Learning similar words and sounds in rhymes will improve cognitive learning in your child.
6. Tell stories
Use stories as a method to develop your child’s imagination. It may be difficult at first, but as your child grows, you cannot imagine the colorful picture that is being painted in her mind. Read out to her, let her ask you questions and give her references from real life to understand better. These stories can help you inculcate good values.
Gestures and sounds are an important part of child communication and development. Do not restrict yourself from trying something new. If you feel your child is not responding to you after repeated attempts you may consult your doctor. Some children may be slow, but they learn as they grow. Don’t hesitate to discuss this with your doctor, since communication is an important part of our lives.