Talking to Your Child

If you’re worried about speaking to your child in ways he will understand, you’re on the right track. You’re taking control of your relationship with the toddler in a positive, productive way, and talking with your child is very important.

When adults don’t talk with a child, the child can feel isolated and it may limit her language and communication skills. (A back-and-forth dialog is even more valuable than talking to your child.)

When talking with your child:

  • Talk about anything at all: What you are doing? What you are looking at? You can talk about her: name her body parts, clothes, describe what she’s doing, etc.
  • Wait for her responses and build on them so that she gets the most out of these conversations.
  • A big part of communicating with your toddler is by interpreting his body language. This is a good time to encourage him to use his words. When your child is gesturing, make sure you communicate back to him with words expressing what he’s trying to convey.

Try This:

  • Take your child to the mirror and ask her to look at your side-by-side reflections.
  • Then lead her in a discussion of what she sees that is the same and different. For instance, you both have hair, but are the colors different? You both are wearing shirts, but are they long- or short-sleeved, or different colors or textures? (You can point all of this out even if your toddler isn’t ready to point it out herself.)
  • This shared exercise helps your child to see how much in common you have—and to observe and distinguish between the small details that make up his world.
See also ...

• Communication and your 2- to 3-year old

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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