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How can you help get your toddler talking?

Parents have a big influence on their child's speech and language skills. What are ways moms can help to get their toddlers talking up a storm?

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14  Answers

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31 11

I would have to say talk to your children like they are a person, not a baby! My son is 2 1/2 and he speaks clearly in full sentences and has done so since he was 2( and every day it gets clearer). Most strangers can understand him now. Another thing I do is talk about new words that are maybe extremely hard to say (ex: talking about his sister exersaucer). I will say Erika is going in her exersaucer now; can you say exersaucer?

I also try to use real words for items. For example a train is a train; not a choo choo. Last but not least is read, read, read! Books are an easy and fun way for children to develop language.

All children develop at their own pace. I don't force my child to use big words or always correct his mistakes. Some kids will speak fluently and clearly months if not years before their peers. Some kids are more willing to try new words than others. Unless there is an obvious speech delay I wouldn't worry to much about language.

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1 4

I completely totally agree with you. I too speak to my son like he is an adult. He can string up sentences now and he is only 2.

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54 0

Love your post Melissa, I agree totally with you. Well done with your son!

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4 80

When my almost 4-year-old daughter learns a new word or phrase, it's sometimes spoken quickly and in a sentence mashed together with other words. When she asks me about a new word or tries it out herself incorrectly, I do the following:
1) talk about the word, how to use it and maybe where she heard it
2) say it quietly yet clearly in her ear so she can hear the right consonants
3) practice and repeat it in her ear as needed and usually give her a rhyming word (what she calls a "matching" word) so she can associate it with another word she knows how to pronounce.

We often do this during snack or meal times when we are chatting. I think it helps and people compliment her on her word articulation.

100 8

I have to agree with your suggestion the most! My parents always did this with me and people have always complimented my speech (especially when they find out I had a really bad speech problem that required surgery as a toddler). In fact, my dad still corrects me if I use a word incorrectly, but I think it's a great thing to do with kids. I never thought of the rhyming, but that will be a great add on. Our speech therapists have always told us these things too.

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4 0

There are a few things I believe helped my very chatty 3 year old son. Since he was a baby, I've always talked to him in full sentences. When I ask him questions, I give him time to respond. I find that many people don't give them time to process what they want to the adult either answers for them or gives them what they want without the response. I also found it useful to have my toddler repeat the full sentences I modeled before I gave him what he wanted. The last thing I can think of is to correct when they say something wrong. As cute as my son sounds saying "wook" when he means "look," it's not going to sound so cute in a few years. And of course all of this is done in a very loving way. =)

3 21

One of the best things parents can do to help their toddlers with speech and language skills is to NOT TALK BABY-TALK to them! I see and hear this all the time in public and even with close friends. Please stop!! Toddlers and infants who are spoken to in baby-talk are more likely to have difficulty with articulation and sentence structure.

464 0

Take the child around other kids, slightly older than them...they will be so excited to catch on and repeat what they hear from other kids...

My daughter would not walk at 12mths only stand take step and fall.. I put her in daycare around kids that were up to 16 mths old and she was walking within weeks...

10 0

We have a speech therapist come and work with us for 2 hrs once a week. She also gives me and my husband instructions and tips such as...

name everything
exaggerate words with different faces, intonations and gestures...
make words out of every noise they make
respond to his voice as if he said something
work on their mussels such as blowing bubbles into a cup
licking top lip..ect.

I think its just time and play ....

122 0

I always talked to my daughter like she was an adult. I also explained everything i was doing as i did it. I would walk around the house and name objects and have her repeat after me. Talking to your child and letting your child speak for themselves when someone is talking to them helps a lot. Never speak for your child let them learn to respond, otherwise they will always rely on you to speak for them.

2,093 0

Exposure to language is key. Songs, rhymes, books, talking with your child - kids just need to hear language. If your baby or toddler isn't interested in books per se that's fine. Make up stories, sing songs, talk about how the garbage disposal works. It's the language that matters.

Interestingly, it needs to be language with real people. TV does not improve the speech or vocabulary of babies and toddlers.

People are being unduly critical of baby talk. Firstly, baby talk is appropriate for babies and considered to play a role in their development. Secondly, silliness and playing with language and speech sounds are a natural part of learning language. Thirdly, speaking with a child in a manner that is well beyond their level of receptive language can be problematic.

With toddlers and preschoolers I would say it's important to model, but not correct. If your two year old says, "my foots" respond enthusiastically with, "yes, those are your feet" instead of "it's feet" in a correcting tone of voice.

Also, try to let your child develop on their own timeline. Some kids will naturally talk later, or have a personality that is not so chatty... don't get all twisted up about that and make language a tense issue. Your child will sense that.

42 0

I have a friend whoe's little boy refused to speak but when i went to visit i realised why. She always knew what her child wanted but he would grunt and point she just pass object over and never gave him the will to speak.
In my case i have always spoke to my child. If you don't ask they won't speak in my opinion.
I have always tried to ask my child howshe was. Get her to ask for things not just give them to her. Rewards for things. Read books at bedtime as they listen to words as how they are pronounced.
My child is now just coming up for 3 and can speak very clearly, counts and know alphabet all thanks to books,toys and alot of interaction.
Every child is different and will get their eventually but i think encouragement helps along way.

4 1

my son's third birthday was a week ago and he still can't make up sentences whenever i teach him new words he just forgets them in a while . his doctor is telling me he has no hearing or speech related problems and he is of average intelligence but he exhibits less attention than anyone his own age. I feel embarrassed when ppl talks to hum in public and he just ignores them even kids in his daycare talk to him but he reply in his own invented gibberish, plz can anyone give me advice because I do talk to him a lot but it does not seem to pay off!!

2 0

My daughter is having the same problem. What can I do. Could u pl give me some advice or suggestions pl.

1 36

Learn baby sign language with your child, it can ease frustration and increase understanding of the words. I agree with not talking baby talk to your toddler, talk to them at a level you want their intellect to be at (reasonably). Both of these things harbor trust and increase communication with your child, my physician recommends reading, reading and more reading to your child.
Hopefully there isn't a medical reason for your child to be not speaking.

108 76

The easiest way I have found to get babies talking is to talk to them. Constant non stop talking, which believe me can be exhausting, but it makes a huge difference. And not baby talk either, talk to them like you would talk to an older child. All of this helps them develop an understanding of how to communicate. Ask questions, tell a little story...anything that helps them hear language being used. Also, make sure that you are giving them an opportunity to respond. Babies can learn about the expectation that comes with a question, and they want to interact with you, so give them a chance to do so. Repetition is another key to speech development. Repeating individual words when introducing something, or even someone can help baby begin to establish sound patterns.
My other two favorite activities that have help me teach babies to talk are reading and singing. There are so many great book out on the market that are perfect for babies. Pick books with single words on a page, that are colorful and interesting. Read the books several times a day, and baby will begin to recognize the items, as well as try to mimic what you are saying. Singing songs is a great activity, especially because you can do it anywhere. Singing is a great way for babies to practice making sounds. Pick easy songs that are short, but sing them over and over. Or invest in some really great kids music CDs. Babies really like to hear other little kids singing, so if you can find an album with little kids singing, all the better.
Remember a few things, though. Every child has their own time for developing all these skills. Don't freak out because some book says your child should be able to say this many words by a certain age. Books are merely guidelines to help us as parents, they do not have all the answers. Don't panic if you think your child isn't talking, they may just not have anything to say, yet. If you are really concerned, that your child's speech is delayed, seek the advice of your pediatrician.
Chat away with your little people, and eventually they will start chatting back.

30 23

My fiance and I have always talked to our now 2 year old in full sentences as if she were an adult. since day one I've somewhat narrated what i was doing while shopping, changing her diaper etc. starting early always helps.

We also read several books a night. she picked out her favorite two that we read every night, "Hop on Pop" by Doctor Seuss has been her favorite for almost a year now. its a simple read and she has learned several by sight and can say all of the highlighted words.

When she asks for something I have her repeat every word in the question... Instead of "apple please" one word at a time she will repeat " may I have an apple please." now if she I don't have her repeat it she says " may i apple please" it's a big step up from a few months ago.

I often tell her things in more then one sentence ex. " it's time to go. where are your shoes? we're going to the store. " she now shes she will repeat what i say in her own words with out me pushing her to "where are you, shoes on, time to go"

I will admit i do push her, never force. and even when she doesn't say things right but in larger sentences or larger words than usual i always give her praise. I believe giving a child a slight push is always good, but there is a thin line between slightly pushing and being too pushy. every child develops differently... no matter what always praising a child for trying is key.

61 14

Read books with them. We use American Sign Language in our home as well. Just talking with your kids about what is going on around you will help them understand what things are and how to explain their surroundings. Ask them questions like if they see anything they recognize like trucks or trees. We watch PBS and talk about what we see in the shows as well. But the way for kids to learn to speak well is by speaking with them. Use correct grammar, enunciate your words and talk face to face so they can see how you form difficult words.


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