As the parent of a toddler it can be a full time job to decipher what you are being told or asked.
Over time this can become very frustrating and confusing.
After all, at times it will feel like you and your toddler are speaking two different languages.
Imagine traveling to a foreign country with no prior training about the language.
However, it is possible to eliminate the stress and communicate more effectively with your toddler. Consider the following tips and tools to deciphering toddler language.
Associate Words or Sounds with Objects
The quickest way to eliminate the communication block is to associate what your child says with objects or actions. For example, when your child says “Dooogo” look to see if they are pointing at the dog, or a favorite toy.
If they are asking for something and you are not sure what they mean, use the process of elimination. Start by eliminating what it can’t be. Offer something to eat, and see if your toddler points to the refrigerator for a different item.
If this is not the right track, move on to looking for toys. Take your toddler to the toy box and see if they are interested. If not, you are probably still on the wrong path. You might also try asking for them to show you. Toddlers often understand much better than they speak.
Don’t Reinforce Baby Talk
Instead of repeating the language back to your toddler, try to teach them the correct word. Children learn by hearing. If you reinforce the words they are saying, they may take longer to develop proper speech.
Instead, take a few minutes each time they ask for an object on toddler speech and say the correct word for them. You can even ask your toddler to say the word back. This will help the child quickly develop the right vocabulary.
Use Games to Teach Proper Speech
You can use fun learning games to teach your toddler proper language skills. Try fun flashcards that are age appropriate. For a toddler you will want to use objects they are familiar with.
For example, showing a flashcard that has a plane when your child has no idea what that is will not be helpful.
Instead, use cards that include common daily items. Things such as forks, spoons, shoes, and socks will be easy for your child to recognize. However, don’t go overboard with the games.
When your child seems tired or frustrated, stop playing and take a break. Teaching your toddler to speak correctly should be fun, rather than tiresome.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can help your toddler learn to speak properly. However, you shouldn’t get discouraged if the process seems to take a long time, or have little effect.
After all, children don’t go off to college still talking like a baby. Eventually, the baby talk will stop, and you will likely be sad to see it go after a while.