He Won't Say What He Wants

Jo - posted on 11/27/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My problem is that Gabe won't repeat what I say and won't say what he wants. He turned 2, Oct 31. He does talk, but he's only really starting to string words together.

When he wants something, he usually whines for it, or has his own 'word' for it. Like if he's hungry he says "yummy yummy" and goes to the fridge. If he's thirsty he goes to the sink or brings me his cup. If I don't get to it fast enough though, he whines like crazy.

I'm really trying to get him to use his words but he just does not repeat me at all. He stares at me like I am talking in Japanese and then continues the whining or fussing for what he wants.

Since I'm with him 24/7, I generally know what he wants and when he wants something, although I've always talked to him while he's asking for it and when I'm getting it. For example, if he says "yummy yummy" I will say "do you want something to eat?" or "what would you like to eat?" He will go to the fridge and he'll point to what he wants and I'll then say whatever it is he's pointing too. Or I will ask him if he wants a banana, apple or sandwich, he will usually point to it and won't actually say what he wants.

I read to him, I try to sound out words with him, I try to get him to repeat me or even just try to say words but he usually ignores me lol I know he can talk, he does, when he wants too. His doctors and the speech therapist at my doctors office all say he's fine and there's no reason for him to not be talking, he's just going at his own pace (which I accept and I'm fine with).

I wish I could figure out a way to get him to stop with the whining, and start asking with the words I know that he knows. He knows fruits by name, apple, banana, orange, mango, grape, berry, etc etc etc. He says "mammit" for sandwich (he has difficulties with the s & ch sounds). I know he knows drink, "jube" for juice, milk, water... I know he does know the words, so I'm really trying to get him to use them.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get him into saying the words rather than the whining? Talking and asking him and trying to get him to repeat me isn't working so well.. (not saying I'm going to stop doing that lol I'll keep doing that too) I'm just hoping you all might have some games or ways to get him more involved in saying what he wants! Please and thank you for any advice you have :)

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Maria - posted on 12/04/2010

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You are doing it all but the only other way you are going to get him to say what he wants is to tell him if you dont tell me what you want I will ignore you then do the ignore technic (webster Stratton) no matter how much he winges and moans or tantrums, the more you give into him the more he is going to do it. If he knows what the item is then he needs to say what he wants.

Meghan - posted on 11/29/2010

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HA!!! Jodi, I just read my bossy boots thread- here I am repeating myself. Don't ever worry about "butting in" We all kinda jump around here :)

Meghan - posted on 11/29/2010

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I have noticed a huge increase in whining since J has been in daycare. The only thing I can chop it up to is there are older boys talking for him and he has to compete with everyone for attention and what not. It is starting to get on my nerves now so I have started telling him I can not understand what you are saying, so I am ignoring you until you ask in your real voice. And like I said in my bossy boots thread, I don't think that kids this age actually realize what whining is. They just know that if they do it it gets some sort of response. This is something I have started to point out to him "J, do you hear how you are talking to mommy? It sounds yucky doesn't it?"

Jo - posted on 11/29/2010

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I'm continuing to do that too Dana. Sometimes he will and other times he just ignores me completely and other times he just continues to whine for it and point. I'm on a mission to ignore the whining right now lol I've sat on the floor and talked calmly to him twice this morning while he's whined and pointed... once he gave up and went to play and the other time he crossed his arms and said "Milk." lol it was incredibly cute despite the aggrivation he went through to get there

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I've always said, "use your words" to Roxanne. When she's upset or whining for something I get down on her level and whisper to her, "calm down and use your words" or "are you hungry? Can you ask mommy for an apple instead of crying?" Once she's calmed down and I have her attention, she seems more responsive and will usually ask for things accordingly.

Sign language is cool!

Jo - posted on 11/29/2010

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My aunt and uncle are both deaf and mute and my Aunt has been telling me she is going to come over and teach me some sign language to teach to him but she just hasn't had the time to come over! I'll start bugging her to get over here and in the mean time I'll look it up online :D Thanks for the suggestion Jaime!

Jaime - posted on 11/29/2010

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Jodi, my nephew wouldn't talk when he was Gabe's age, either. I'm not sure if it would help, but you might try some simple sign language. I think you can find the basic words that you use to communicate with him online...and this way he's focusing more on signing to you, instead of whining for a sandwich or some juice. I'll think about this a bit more and see if there is anything else I remember from a few years ago.

Jo - posted on 11/28/2010

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That's exactly what Gabe does, it's so annoying! He's gotten used to me knowing exactly what he wants too so it's like he doesn't feel it necessary for him to say it lol so stubborn!

He doesn't look like me at all - so at least I know there's some part of me in him with his stubbornness! Just trying to look at the bright side lol

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Jodi, I can relate! Shawn does the same and it drives us nuts. I tell him the words for what he wants when I know. If he keeps whining, I say: "I know what you want, you know how to ask for it. When you are ready to ask with words, I'll give it to you." Then, I ignore him until he speaks which can take a shitload of time...I found that just going about whatever I was doing when he started whining gets him to talk faster. He repeats everything and can ask for everything he wants but he tries to get away with the whines anyway.

Jo - posted on 11/28/2010

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Yip, he has perfect hearing, there's nothing wrong with his tongue or voice box lol he does talk, just fine when he wants too. He has the learning baby sounds like he says "all none" instead of "all done" and he says "where id go?" instead of "where did it go?" but he does talk a fair bit with single words and a few strings of words.

He just whines and points instead of actually using his words when I'm not quick enough to jump to get what he wants. If he brings me his cup, if I don't get up right away to get him a drink, he starts whining and goes to the sink or fridge and whines.

I've actually tried ignoring him and asking him to tell me what he wants but this kid has some stubbornness in him lol he can whine longer than I can put up with the whining. When I finally stop ignoring him, I'll sit him on the counter and ask him what he wants, milk or water and he'll point - he just won't say it :(

Jess - posted on 11/28/2010

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Tough situation.... Ava talks up a storm and repeats EVERYTHING we say at just 15 months so I really can't give you much personal experience kind of help. Perhaps if we put Gabe and Ava in a room together they could balance each other out !!! She dropped the F bomb the other day when she fell over and walks around saying "cwap" meaning crap !

The only personal experience I have with this is a family friend had a son who also didn't speak, just pointed, whined and grunted when he wanted something. From memory they used some tough love with him to get him talking which was then followed up with speech therapy to correct his poor speech because he had waited so long to start talking.

With this particular child his mum stopped giving him what he wanted until he spoke. Very hard for both mother and child I'm sure. I don't know if I could do it personally but it worked for them. So when he points at the apple he didn't get it until he asked for it.

Ava started whining at me for things and I hate whining, its one of those huge pet peeves for me. To solve the issue I would tell her to stop and wait for her to calm down and then ask her what she wants.

Sounds like your trying pretty much everything at the moment, so only time will tell but I was wondering has his hearing been checked ?

Jo - posted on 11/27/2010

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Thanks JuLeah :) I'm not REALLY worried about it, I'd just like to see him using the words I know he knows. He's been chit chatting for about 6 months now and he learns new words everyday, so I've been trying to think of ways to get him to repeat words that we say and use his words... since I've been doing the 'regular' things for about 2-3 months now I thought I'd see if anyone had any interesting word games or songs that generally help with getting toddlers more interested in conversing lol

The funny sounds he loves doing, he usually resorts back to growling at me then he wants to play dinosaurs lol and we have a fish price stand up farm toy that has a barn door and different animals that make sounds, we play with that quite a bit. Again, he says the sounds and the animals but if I ask him to repeat something I say or ask him what something is he still looks at me like I'm speaking Japanese LOL

JuLeah - posted on 11/27/2010

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Sounds like you are doing it all. He is on his time line, not yours. Tell him to use a big voice. Play rhyming sing song games, practice making funny sounds and have him copy the funny sounds ... or animal sounds ... and relax - ease up- he'll come around

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