Is your toddler relying solely on pointing or pulling to communicate his needs or desires? It is time to encourage speech.
Encouraging Toddler Speech: 1. Slow down and create opportunities for your child to ask for his milk.
If he drinks milk every day at 9 am, don’t prep it. Wait for your child to ask for it.
Do not ask him if he wants it.
Don’t go to the kitchen and grab the bottle or cup.
And do not pull the milk out of the fridge.
You do nothing until your child asks for it.
There is no reason for him to learn to talk if you continue to provide everything he wants without requiring him to ask for it.
Encouraging Toddler Speech: 2. Start with one word.
Pick one word to encourage above all others. Asking a child to talk all day long isn’t as useful as starting with one word at the beginning of this process.
Teaching speech is more about your consistency than his.
Pick one thing that means a lot to him. Is his milk time his favorite part of the morning?
“Want milk, please.”
Don’t use super-long sentences. You want your child to focus on keywords and not get bogged down by nonessentials.
What we are listening for is any form of the word milk.
“MMMMMM” will work.
“Mik” will work.
“Ik” will work.
Remember, if you are a parent who gets everything for their child, stop. Are you a parent who speaks for their child when someone asks them a question? Stop. If you predict their needs without them having to ask, stop.
No one speaks if all their wishes and needs are met in advance.