How to help your Toddler with Communication Skills
I put up an Instagram post last night as Vivienne brushed my hair and we chatted about the evening. She spoke so well, full sentences even … and honestly blew me away. I still get so surprised with the things she says on a day to day basis. I am so proud of her.
You may have sat there comparing your child’s milestones with mine. I get it… it can be so hard not to. Please remember, every child is different and WILL get there on their own time. I felt the same way when Vivienne took 14-15 months to finally walk. It felt so late to me compared to other kids her age. Yet, I feel the same way with walking like I do with speech and sensory… practice makes perfect! Work with them on it whenever you can. We are always reading, quizzing, playing with puzzles, or doing something in the day to spark the mind. It doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, just taking a few minutes out of your day to work with your child is amazing for their development.
Here are a few things that have worked for us:
- Ask your child to help you. Ask him/her to get something from their room or put their cup on a table. It’s amazing what that alone will do- and it will SHOCK you when they actually do it.
- Read to your child and talk through the book. Point out colors, shapes, animals, sounds in the process.
- Teach simple nursery rhymes. Vivienne watched little baby bums too when I would need to cook dinner or do the dishes (mini breaks) and that taught her so much about colors and songs. Screen time isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay… no judgement… perhaps purchase a book or stuffed animal that can sing along to.
- Encourage your child to talk to friends, other children, and yourself on a regular basis. I am CONSTANTLY probing conversation, quizzing her, or just asking her about the day. If she just went to an activity (example: dance) then we talk about her time at dance and I probe her to reenact or tell me what she remembers. The more we talk, the more they talk. Repeat, repeat, repeat…
- Be excited and proud when they do something new. My big thing right now is teaching Vivienne her manners. Since I have engrained please, thank you, and you’re welcome into our daily conversations it’s now an immediate response from her. Sometimes she will pause and remember she needs to say please if she’s asking for something. When she does it, I always phrase her and ask for a high five. Consistently, repetitive, and encouragement is key! They WILL get it.
- Pretend play. Vivienne is really into pretending to cook, play with her baby, etc.
I hope some of these tips are encouraging and helpful!