Encouraging Your Toddler To Learn
The best years with your child is during the toddler years. At this time of their life, they are learning so much every single day and it really is amazing to watch. They are discovering and learning. In terms of language development and speech, this development time is very important. Instead of babbles of a baby, your toddler is now saying real words, then it’s putting multiple words together. It can be challenging at times, but more times than often, they can understand a lot more than what they can let you know and this can frustrate them at times. This can lead to tears and tantrums for both your toddler and you. How can you help your toddler learn to have a strong bond of communication?
Five things parents can do to help their child’s language, speech and communication skills:
Sometimes at the end of the day you sit down and barely remember what you did all day because you did everything so quickly. Be sure to slow down when possible, and during those routines, try talking to your little one. Children learn during every moment of their lives; during diaper changes, meal time and bath time. These are great times to talk with your young child because these are times when they learn the most. If your toddler is having a hard time with language development or speech, slow your speech down because they might simply be having a difficult time keeping up! Everyone is moving and talking so fast in this world of fast pace, full of computers, cell phones and TV’s “on demand”. Slow down your speech and your pace to give your toddler a chance to catch up!
Kneel down to your child’s level
After you learn to slow down your speech so your toddler can understand you, kneel down to his or her level. In order for your child to be a better communicator and learn speech, you need to slow down, look at your child while you are speaking and get down to his or her level. Your child will have an easier time focusing on you and what you are saying. This can help deep away distractions such as noise, toys and other people or children.
It seems in this day and age, everyone expects things in a millisecond. Most people carry smart phones that have internet to provide us with answers on just about anything almost immediately. But remember, children do not learn language by using a smart phone. They need help, they need us to wait, and in terms of their communication skills, take a moment to wait for them to respond to you. After you ask a question to your toddler or ask him or her to do something, wait. Often times, we don’t realize that we are not allowing our kids to be a part of learning experiences because we are too busy doing things for them that we don’t see if they can do them without our help.
Stop counting and start communicating
Even if toddler’s knows many things, such as shapes, colors, letters and numbers, it is still very important that they learn to communicate their basic wants and needs. Even if a child can count well, they must ask questions to gain more information. Toddlers are basically sponges who soak up pretty much everything and this age is a very exciting time. Instead of simply working with your child to learn numbers, alphabet, shapes and colors, use those skills to teach them communication skills and vocabulary skills. When your toddler points at something, talk about what they are pointing at a little bit. Ask questions and then wait for a response. Instead of just counting the stars, talk to them about the stars.
Rethink your child’s toys
Children learn communication skills and language through daily normal routines. It is a good idea to look at all the toys you provide your child to play with. General tips while doing this:
· Get rid of the majority or all of the bright-colored and plastic toys that talk, light up and play music. Most of these kind of toys say on the box, “Encourages Letter, Color and Shape Identification!” and other things of this sort. Rather than your child doing those things, the toy does it for them, therefore your child doesn’t benefit much from those types of toys.
· Be sure that you have basic toys that allows your child to use them in multiple ways and for multiple activities. For example, blocks are a great option. Find blocks with shapes, letters and numbers! Blocks can be used in many different ways and your toddler can learn many skills from hand-eye coordination, to stacking, to recognizing the information on them.
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