Talking to a toddler is a challenge for some parents, but it is vital to the budding family relationship. To make the most out of your conversations, you need to understand the significance of communication.
Communicating Effectively With Your Toddler
Communication is pivotal to developing a relationship with your child. However, how you communicate will determine the type of relationship you create. Practical, positive, and productive communication will lead to more remarkable instances of trust and affection. Alternatively, communication rooted in negative attention or intimidation can nurture distrust and fear.
Every parent likely understands the necessity of responding to behaviors, those you want to encourage, and those you wish to correct, but knowing how to respond does not always come naturally, especially without good examples. Toddlers will learn from your actions. They want to learn and grow. The way you choose to interact with your child will shape who they become and how they interact in the world.
Developing Good Communication Skills
A child will develop practical communication skills by watching and listening to the adults and children in their lives. As a parent, you are the most important influence on your toddler, which means how you interact with them is more important than anything. Teaching your child good communication skills comes down to deliberate practice and interaction. Some ways to help your child learn communication skills include the following:
- Encouraging your child to share their thoughts and feelings
- Giving your child your undivided attention when talking with them
- Actively listening and responding in a sensitive way to all statements and emotions
- Speaking to your child at their level and on their time
- Focusing on words and body language to truly understand your child
- Using body language to encourage mimicry and learning
Some parents wait until their child is a toddler to start talking to them, but you don’t have to wait. You can start talking to newborns, even pausing the dialogue as if they can talk back. When a baby begins babbling, take time to babble back, encouraging a back and forth. These early interactions can promote the development of communication skills even before speech is possible.
Starting the Conversation
Some parents find it challenging to start a conversation with a toddler because they are often too young to communicate complex ideas. Many toddlers can only speak in simple sentences, making a conversation frustrating for them. However, keep in mind that you do not have to get into a philosophical debate with a child to ensure they are learning practical communication tools.
A conversation with a toddler can be simple. For example, if they are throwing a tantrum, you might want to ask why they are upset. Having conversations about emotions and how to express them healthily is a great way to develop emotional language.
However, not every conversation has to focus on emotions. There are several ways to help your child communicate, including:
- Discussing ordinary things (Doing laundry, making breakfast, etc.)
- Respond to and discuss your child’s interests
- When your child is playing or pretending, inquire about the activity
- Encourage your child to respond to questions and Offer praise
- Remain patient and focused
Tips for Communicating With a Stubborn Toddler
Some children are stubborn, making communicating with them frustrating. However, if you want to encourage good and positive communication skills, you need to demonstrate restraint and patience. Here are a few ways to communicate with a stubborn child:
- Listen to what is frustrating them
- Show you care about their interests and concerns
- Compromise and stay calm
- Always lead with respect and love
Teaching your children about effective communication is pivotal to their development. It is almost as important as ensuring their health and well-being.