In 2004 to 2005, about 64% of two-year-olds had a highly expressive vocabulary. However, it’s not always easy to get your toddler to start saying more than a few coherent words. If you’re noticing that your toddler isn’t quite as vocal as most kids their age, don’t worry. They have plenty of time to vocally develop on their own, and they surely will with time. But there are a number of ways you can encourage their vocality and help coax the words out. Here are just a few basic ways to encourage your toddler to talk more.
Slow Down and Be Authentic
First, many parents use a sort of ‘artificial’ tone when speaking to their toddler. Though this is usually completely well-intentioned, it can actually negatively affect how the toddler perceives language. That’s why it’s important to speak to your toddler in a genuine and authentic tone. Similarly, it’s important to slow down enough so the toddler has the chance to separate and distinguish each different word.
“Talking to our babies in our regular, authentic voice (but a little slower) reminds us that we are talking to a whole person. It’s easier and not as likely to induce headaches…It models for babies the natural tone and language we want them to adopt. The more they hear language spoken properly, the sooner they will learn and try speaking it,” writes Janet Lansbury.
Many parents think it’s encouraging to ask their child questions about words, colors, numbers, or anything around them in hopes of getting them to ‘perform’ for relatives and friends. Again, while this is usually well-intended, it makes the child more likely to get nervous and freeze up. This can have a negative effect if you’re asking your child questions too frequently. So, instead of coaxing (“say ‘cookie’ for your grandma!”), let your child develop their own natural dialogue.
Ultimately, there are countless ways we can encourage our toddlers to open up and be more expressive — it just takes time, patience, and understanding. Of course, it’s also always a good idea to start looking at preschools in Danville California to get your child interacting with others their own age. For more information about daycares and preschools, contact Learn and Play Montessori School.