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How You Can Encourage Communication in Toddlers

Update Date: Dec 30, 2012 07:05 AM EST

Most of us do not remember precisely when we started speaking and we obviously do not remember why we chose to start speaking when we did. When exactly a child would start speaking can certainly not be predicted, but experts say that since speech and language are acquired, there always is a learning process involved. While at times there may be medical reasons for a child to pick up language skills a little later, sometimes children may set their own schedules.

Irrespective of the reason, experts say that one can always encourage this process. Mona Entwistle, a speech-language pathology assistant with Horizons Specialized Services in the website has suggested how parents and caregivers may possibly try to fasten the language learning process in children.

Listen: First of all, the report says that parents could try and provide a language-rich environment to their child. That does not mean that parents should talk a lot in front of the child or even talk to the child. Such efforts apparently are futile if it is only one-sided communication. Experts say that talking is just one side of the communication. For the process of communication to be complete, it is equally important to listen to what your baby has to say. Stop whatever you are doing to listen to your child's message.

Read more books: The experts say there is no need to read out the text, but choosing a couple of books and looking at them over and again, naming the objects in the pictures or perhaps imitating the sound it makes may encourage your child (maybe after the 100th time) to try and say the name of the object or make a similar sound when you point to it.

Use lesser words: We generally tend to talk a lot to our children. Not only do we ask them a lot of complicated questions, we also speak to them in long sentences. The website suggests, neither is it appropriate to talk to them in adult language, not is it right to baby talk with them. Instead, say only the important words to convey your message. For example, instead of saying, "It's a gorgeous day today. Would you like to play outside with your cars and trucks?" all you need to say is, "Play outside?" and your message has scored. Using just 2 to 3 words to communicate with your child is perfect.

Reduce questions: The website suggests, rather than asking a lot of questions to your child, make comments about what is in front if the child. Narrate your child's world.

Providing the child with a rich language environment makes them feel empowered to communicate.

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