A Huge thank you to Sara for doing a guest post on my blog while I am camping with my family! Since I'm currently in the stage of getting my toddler talking, and working on turning words into phrases, I asked if she would give some tips on teaching a toddler to talk.
Speech. From the moment our children are born, we try to talk to them. Although we don't expect an answer from a one day old baby, we still begin speaking to him or her as a preparation in order to grasp the native tongue. While words begin to form from your child's mouth, you need to help them adjust their speech in order for it to be grammatically correct and comprehensible to the average person.
1. Use Real Words – One thing that many parents are guilty of is the inevitable “baby talk.” While you may think it's cute to speak in such a demeaning manner to your child, he or she learns much of your native language from you. The last thing your child needs to do is tell his or her boss in twenty years that they need to be excused to get a drink of “wa-wa.” Speak naturally to your child and they will respond in kind using real words on not “kiddy slang.” It's bad enough that they will be texting abbreviations for sentences in a couple of years with their BFFs.
2. Story Time – Reading stories to your children can help them develop their vocabulary. As time progresses, they begin to coordinate how certain sounds work based off of what they had experienced prior from your reading. This can also encourage children to read. Many children will put more effort into reading from sheer emulation of yourself or driven by a desire to be able to read aloud such as you.
3. Colorful Metaphors – Having a mouth like a drunken sailor on shore leave after 12 months at sea could be detrimental to teaching your child proper language skills. Your toddler is a sponge and will absorb any language he or she hears and may repeat it with great accuracy. Although you child may learn to use the colorful language appropriately, it is still a skill that is frowned upon by many. In essence, you don't need to help turn a pre-school room of children into a mechanic's workshop.
4. It is Not a Race – If you normally speak like a hyperactive squirrel, your child may look at you perplexed. In order to facilitate a better understanding of your words, you need to slow your speech down so he or she can process what is being said. His or her interest may focus intently on your lips and speaking too fast may cause them to trip up on this method of learning.
5. Garbled Communiques – When your child begins forming sounds on their own, it may sound like incomprehensible gibberish. The fact is, he or she is trying to put together the sounds to make words themselves. This is a pivotal moment in his or her life and you should encourage more speech. However, don't merely babble alongside them. Keep encouraging a true way of speaking and help them put the sounds and mouth movements together.
During the toddler years, your child will quickly learn the basics of human function. Speech, potty training, eating, and many other aspects are first time experiences for them. Don't become frustrated or angered by an inability to perform a specific task. Keep in mind that you've, hopefully, had decades of practice and this is his or her first attempt at what we think of as second nature.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of https://www.nannypro.com/. Learn more about her https://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-dawkins/.
Now it's your turn! Do you have any toddler talking tips of your own?