5 Tips for communicating with your Toddler

Hey Friends! If you are here, then I’m assuming that you like me, are having some difficulty communicating with your toddler. Cruze is now 18 months old, and barely talks. That’s not to say he doesn’t know how though. He’ll say things like, more, please, thank you, mama, Dada, etc, when he feels like it. For the most part though, he just SCREAMS! Screams when he’s hungry, screams when he’s tired, you get the idea. It’s not exactly the most harmonious type of communication, and to be honest it was starting to make us a bit crazy. So, my husband and I did a little research, talked to a few friends, and really got intentional when it came to getting our son to communicate in a more effective way.

  1. Read books Together- This may seem like a no brainer, but it has really proven to be effective. We read books together every night as a family, but taking the one-on-one time with just Cruze seemed to make a big difference. We make sure to emphasize certain words, have him point to different characters, and talk a tone that is enticing and holds his attention. Here are a few of our favorite books to read together. 
  2. Learn you Childs social cues- What I mean by this is get to know your Childs expressions and mannerisms before it turns into a full blown melt down. With Cruze, we’ve noticed when he’s feeling hungry he’ll pull on my pant leg or follow me around in the kitchen. If I open a snack, he usually comes running in. Just by noticing this, I simply give him a snack to hold him off while I cook dinner (or whatever else I’m preparing), and there is zero screaming.
  3. Have Conversations- Okay, this might sound odd to you if you have a child who isn’t talking. Well, we’re in the same boat over here too. What we do with Cruze is simply talk to him. We tell him what we are doing as we do it. Like, “I’m making dinner. It is going to be very yummy. I have to stir the noodles so they don’t get stuck together.” etc.
  4. Teach Sign Language- This has been the biggest game changer for all of my kids. Cruze will now sign: eat, more, milk, thank you, and please. It is nice looking over and seeing him sign “more,” instead of screaming. Now, with sign language this also relies heavily on YOU paying attention to your child. That means no cell phone distractions. If you can’t see your toddler signing “eat,” it’ll surely turn into a meltdown. I’ll talk about this a little more on #5. Here are a few awesome books we’ve used to teach our boys sign language. 
  5.  Put your cell phone DOWN- Okay, I realize this is an unrealistic expectation, especially since my own job requires me to use my phone. BUT setting aside time to really communicate with your child will not only be great bonding time, but also a huge learning experience for your little one. How will you learn your toddlers social cues, read books together, or even communicate in general if you are not interacting? This also involves limiting your toddlers scream time as well. Take that time to talk to him/her and you will surely see results.

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1 Comment

  1. January 20, 2019 / 2:46 am

    Thank you so much for this article! It’s hard to find resources on nonverbal toddlers. My oldest is almost two and a half and still struggles. ASL has helped us so much, and is what ultimately lead to the spoken words he will now say. It was a rough go of hand over hand and not giving in until he signed what he wanted but oh boy are the waters smoother now. Best of luck, Mama. You got this!

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