Talking to Toddlers: Benefits and Tips

Importance of Talking to your Toddler

Talking to your child is important because it equips your child to have a healthy relationship with you, and it also assists him to imbibe the requisite social skills at an early age.

Your little one shows interest in interacting more often by this time, and you can take cues on enhancing conversations with her through friendly talks, increased social exposure, and interactive activities and games. The advantages of talking to your child are numerous. Some of these include:

Nurturing the Parent-Child Bond

Talking to your child is an important way of bonding. Lots of encouraging and positive talk will help you build a strong and lifelong bond with your child.

Equipping your Child to Build Relationships

Talking is the way in which we build relationship with others. This is why talking to your child equips him with the necessary skills for building healthy relationships, while also imparting critical social skills . As a parent, you are the first point of contact your child has with the world. Listen carefully as you talk, and allow your child to take turns while conversing with her.

Boosting your Child’s Vocabulary

Talking to your child is the best way to introduce him or her to new words. Research studies have shown that by the age of 3, conversant children from talkative families have around 30 million more words directed to them as compared to those from less talkative families.

Strong Foundation for Further Reading and Learning

Talking prepares your child for reading, learning and holding conversations in the future. All of these are necessary for success at school, college and professional life.

Fostering Trust and Interaction

It is natural for us as human beings to talk the most to those we trust. We are likely to share our physical and emotional needs with those we talk to, and this helps us to interact positively with people around us. Communicating with your child helps foster that trust, and encourages interaction.

Likewise, talking freely encourages the expression of disagreement and teaches a child the importance of respecting someone else’s point of view, without getting into a conflict. Talking to your children teaches them this important lesson of voicing ones opinion in an argument assertively.

How to Interact with Your Child

As parents, grandparents or caregivers, you can start talking to your child when he or she is a baby. You can begin in the following ways:

  • Imitating facial expressions and sounds
  • Talking when changing a diaper
  • Story telling
  • Showing picture books/photos and talking about pictures
  • Asking questions
  • Singing
  • Praising and appreciating

You can communicate with slightly older kids by

  • Actively reading to/with your child
  • Using puppets or toys to play games and communicate
  • Applauding and appreciating good behaviour or achievements by clapping and talking
  • Singing along
  • Taking a walk in the park or go to the beach, and encourage your child to point at things like trees, animals, plants, flowers and name and explore them.

There is no one way of going about talking to your child. You have to choose what works best for you. It is important for parents to realize the importance of talking as an important aspect of child development. Connecting with your child through lots of loving talk will help you forge a strong relationship with him/her.

Talking to your child is the best way to introduce him or her to new words.  Research studies have shown that by the age of 3, conversant children with expressive families will have around 30 million more words directed at them, as compared to those from less talkative families.

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