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2 Ways to Encourage Toddler Speech

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? ⁠⁠

“Say milk.”⁠
“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.⁠

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