Every parent wants their children to develop in the usual way. If their kids don’t start speaking until a certain moment in their lives, parents become concerned about their children’s speaking ability.
In that case, it’s important that you don’t put additional stress on your kid’s back.
What you should do is help them to start uttering words and phrases in many amusing ways.
Here’s what I think can be useful for every parent and toddler.
1) Use short words and speak slowly
The reasons why your toddler still doesn’t want to speak may vary. If you and your partner tend to speak too fast and use too many words, that could confuse your toddler.
Also, the kid will recognize if you don’t include him or her in your conversations.
For starters, you need to address your toddler as much as possible. You should do that using short words that the kid can relate to.
Instead of saying ‘Take that toy and put it back in the box’, you can take the toy and say ‘The bear is going to sleep’. In the latter example, the keywords are the bear and sleep. You can also imitate the act of sleeping to provide another illustration for the meaning of the word.
When you’re cooking, show every ingredient you use to your kid and name it. You can keep repeating the drill. Then you can also add colors to the activity in one of the later repetitions.
If you use more short words related to tangible things in your home, the toddler is more likely to memorize them.
2) Wake up the animator inside you
For some toddlers, it’s not enough just to keep showing them things and naming them.
Simply put, some kids are more demanding, and we don’t say that in a negative way.
On the contrary, they simply aren’t easily amused. If you and your partner are such people, it’s highly likely that your toddler will follow suit.
In that case, both of you need to wake up the animator inside you. This means that you should use more facial expressions and physical motion when you’re teaching your toddler to speak.
Here are some actions and expressions you should use frequently:
- Nod your head when saying ‘Yes’ and shake it when you mean ‘No’.
- Point to the things you want your kid to bring to you or put into the box.
- Imitate eating when you’re feeding your toddler.
- Do the actions from the songs you’re singing, such as “If You’re Happy” and use other expressions to boost your toddler’s speech.
You can also make up songs using some common words from your kid’s everyday environment. Those songs need to be short and simple, just like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”.
If you notice that your kid likes to play Hide and Seek, you can hide different toys and objects around the house. The act of finding those things and naming them with you will be delightful for your toddler. As a result, he or she might learn how to name them.
3) Encourage speech in all situations
Some children might find it easier to speak in their comfort zone. That’s why your toddler might want to talk at home but be hesitant about it outside.
This is where you should play a boosting role and encourage them to keep saying words everywhere they go.
For instance, when you’re at a supermarket, you can turn the entire process into a word-learning game. You can let your kid touch different fruit and vegetables and name them. As explained by the London nanny experts, some toddlers are kinesthetic learners, i.e. they learn more easily through touching and moving. Parents and nannies need to ensure that such kids can learn things in their favorite way.
Moreover, you can join your child in playground activities. While the kid is swinging, you can encourage him or her to say the colors of the clouds and the trees in the park.
If you teach your kid words in a fun way outside the house, they’ll be excited to go out with you and do those activities.
4) Treat them with respect
Speech development is a part of the toddler’s cognitive development. That’s why it’s important to treat your kid with respect to everything he or she does.
For starters, avoid yelling at them, especially immediately after they’ve just learned a new word. Even if you’re raising your voice for a good cause, they might not be able to understand that.
Also, avoid using baby talk with older toddlers. You may notice how toddlers aged 2 or 3 refer to those younger ones as babies. It’s important for them to feel they’re treated in accordance with their age.
Likewise, expose them to appropriate teaching materials. Instead of plain baby books with words, use classic picture books and stories for bedtime.
Every kid has their own tempo in everything they do. The same goes for the development of speech. Parents need to be patient and keep doing the things recommended by speech therapists and experts.
In many cases, toddlers say only a few words and then start babbling overnight. There’s no reason to worry as long as your toddler is generally developing in a natural way.
So, apply our strategies in your daily activities with your toddler and always show your kids ultimate support in everything they do. Eventually, they’ll be able to utter more and more words.
Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.