Today’s theme for Tot Hacks, where a group of parents share parenting tips for raising a toddler, is about ways to improve communication between parents and their toddlers.
If you have a toddler, you have probably had a feeling like you’re talking to yourself. Somehow, words you spoke never reach your toddler. He / she never hears what you say, or in other cases, they hear something you didn’t even mention.
I love that time when toddlers start to talk! It’s so cute, the way they develop their language skills. It can also be really frustrating for them as they can’t communicate clearly. When you want them to pay attention, it’s a great idea to get down to their level, look them in the eye and talk slowly. Be patient with them, they’re trying as hard as they can.
You have to model good listening and talking. Children learn so much from watching the world around them.
The best advice I got for this was to keep instructions short and sweet and avoid the use of negatives. For example, when you want your toddler to STOP doing something, instead of telling them what NOT to do, tell them what to do – short and sweet. “Use your WALKING FEET” instead of “Stop running in the house!” Making sure you have eye contact also helps!
Talking to toddlers doesn’t work. Parents need to talk with their toddlers — listen as much as they talk; show what the toddler is expected to do instead of tell.Shared by Deborah, mother to 2 boys (8 and 6 year old) and 3 girls (9, 4 and 1 year old),
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A few weeks ago my toddler told me that “I never listen to her”. This really made me really stop and think about how I have been communicating with her. It can become all too easy to almost ignore your toddler and just mutter a reply to them as you carry on with what you are doing. But now I am making a conscious effort to stop what i am doing and look directly at her when she speaks to me and then I give her a proper answer to whatever her question maybe. What might seem insignificant to you, can actually mean the world to them.
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My toddlers have always been loud and talkative. Of course, not all of what they said made sense but I found that they talked anyway. One of the reason why they talked so much was because they had a very active audience around them. When they talked, everyone were interested. From mom and dad to grandparents to uncles to siblings, everybody would say ‘ahan’ or ‘is that so…’ or atleast smile when they talked. Thinking about this question, made me realize that the simplest way to ensure that children talk and listen to you is to give them audience and attention they desire. Let them know that you really care about what they are saying and that you love to talk to them.
My toddlers are always on the move and have a hard time stopping to listen. I like to get their full attention by crouching down so that we are eye to eye, using positive language, and really listening to them.
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With my toddler always being on the move I have to stop her when I need for her to listen to me. I find that stopping her and having her do two deep breaths helps her to focus on what I am saying.
One thing that really helps is getting down to their level. When I want to have a good conversation with my toddler, I sit down next to him. I think he responds better when we’re on eye level.
Hands down for me, it’s important to not ,multitask or be on autoreply. Kids can tell when you’re not giving them your full attention. Also, sometimes it helps to stop, get quiet, and whisper. It can even be a game of sorts… “I have a secret to tell you.”
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.