With this generation’s Milestone-Checking Mommies- every little step of our kids is documented- referred and discussed about. One such important milestone in any kid’s development is Talking. It is just not an indicator of how much the kid talks or what language it talks. It gives us a deeper understanding of how much the kid interprets our words- takes our teachings seriously and tries to reproduce them.
They would start with the parrot stage initially- copying every word and action of yours- and looking for your approval. With it gradually comes the Interpretation and Talking Stage. They are now in a position to add few words on their own, even recollect the day’s events and surprise you with cute lovely sentences.
So- when should a Kid start Talking? There is NO Definite Answer to this question. Milestones indicator would suggest anytime after 12 months, a kid starts communicating. But it is essential to remember NO TWO KIDS ARE ALIKE. Some start talking even before they turn One, Some find it difficult to talk even after 2/2.5.
The most important thing for parents to realise is NOT TO PANIC. Kids read every little emotion on our face and it goes deep into their little young minds. If, as parents, you feel the kid doesn’t respond to words or doesn’t show interest in communicating- you could always consult your doctor and find a solution.
Dcotors will examine the child to check for various aspects- such as tongue-tied or other such things that hamper your kids’s speech. Some might also refer you to a professional speech therapist. Just make sure you take the requisite steps for your child’s future- but at the same time be patient and show the kid that you appreciate them for the minute little efforts they take and also that you have great confidence in them. Especially- the mother needs to do this.
Once you observe the readiness in a toddler to start Talking-on a daily basis- at home- here are some small things we could do as a parent to help a kid “Like” Talking and not do them just because they are forced to.
- Might sound Cliched or Obvious. But this is the best option. TALK TO THE CHILD. The more we talk, the more they would understand the need to respond. Also engage in conversations with others so that they understand that Reply is a part of talking!
- GET THEM TO TALK TO YOU- If your child is hungry an cries, don’t run to the kid with a glass of milk or food. Prompt them to ask you. To begin you can ask them whether they want milk or food. Gradually- you can ask the child why they are crying and what they would need. (But surely, a crying kid would never like to be interrogated 😉 But you could try your best to get some words from their mouth at such instances!)
- APPRECIATE THE LITTLE WORDS- Remember how Emma says “Gleeba” in F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Rachael makes a big deal out of it? Thats exactly what you should do when your kid starts saying their first words. If you will correct them immediately or brush it aside as gibberish, they might not be motivated to talk more.
- Get the Kid to talk to others or spend time with others. In today’s nuclear family set up- it is indeed difficult for the moms to raise their kids with none for back up (except the dad). if you stay far from your family- make it a point to visit them often. So kids would also get a Break from us! (contrary to our version of that story!) They would want to share different things when seeing others they love. Nothing like family. Helps immensely.
- Talk to your kids about other kids. NOT COMPARING. But talk to them. If they got cousins/friends of the same age- keep telling the kids about them. They would like it when they are mentioned. You could also fabricate small stories using the other kid- how he/she eats, how he/she plays, etc. Else- create a fictional character. That helps too 🙂
- Docs and seniors would have warned you this. Limit their TV/Computer viewing time. As experts say- the biggest peril about these things is they show only one-way-mode-of-communication. The kid understands that they don’t need to answer for the person on TV to continue talking and happily watch. Obviously it is impractical to completely ban the TV with kids. If you must- make it a point to sit with the kid and explauin what you are watching. So that later- you can quiz the child and get him/her to talk about the programme. Some kids also learn from TV and talk faster. But- make sure there is no over exposure.
- Sing Songs to your baby. Be it rhymes/ slokas/songs- sing them about to your kid loud. It is scientifically proven that we learn things faster when said rhythmically and in a musical manner. Obviously- the reason why rhymes are so integral for pre-schoolers and school going kids.
- The old and best method- READ TO THE CHILD. nothing comforts kids like books. Surround your houses with different types of books and read the books aloud to your child and involve them in the process. When you go about reading it in an animated manner- they would be pleased and would want to imitate you.
- Keep talking to the child about him/her. Quiz them their name. Their parents’ name. What they are doing. If you keep telling them their name and talk about them- chances are kids pay more attention and try to speak faster.
- The last and most important tip- BE PATIENT. It is not an easy task to get a kid to talk. Try your best and try not to show your stress or pressure to the kid, Make sure the kid feels it is enjoyable to talk, and not something you imposed on him/her.
Also remember- once these golden years go- you can’t get them back. Also (on a lighter note!)- once kids start talking, there’s no stopping them. So brace youselves! Good luck! If you have any other tips that worked, do share them with us .
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