To help your toddler talk clearly, firstly, have lots of conversations with your toddler. Make sure you speak clearly and slowly and have lots of face to face chats. If your toddler talks to you, respond back. Even if you haven’t a clue about what your child has said, respond as if you know exactly what he or she is saying. And have full-blown conversations, where you imagine that your toddler’s babble is real talking, and respond accordingly.

A good time to do this is when you’re changing them, or when they’re having a bath or at mealtimes. When you can get down to their level and they can see your face really clearly.

And if you say things in short simple sentences they’ll start to get the hang of what you’re saying long before they can say the right words for things.

Secondly, when your toddler wants something, get them to say it before you give it to them. If they ask for something, get it in your hand. But just before you give it to them say to your toddler – say juice, juice, juice – or car or doll. Say the word very clearly, and gently encourage them to say the word properly, and then when they try to say the right word, smile and say – yes, that’s your juice, and let go.

If your toddler says ‘napaw’ -Smile and say; ‘Yes, you want an apple. Can you say that? Can you say ‘apple’?’

Don’t make a big thing about it, just make the word clearly, be really animated, and encourage your child gently. Soon they’ll get the message.

Finally, go around labelling everything.

Point at your nose, eyes, mouth, hand.

Point at curtains, door, cot, pillow.

When you’re out point at cars, lorries, shops, dogs.

When you’ve told your child at least ten times say excitedly what’s that?

What is it?

If they make an effort to reply, say: ‘Yes, that’s a dog!’

Even if they got it wrong. It doesn’t matter – just make it a game you play until they’re labelling everything just to see you smile.

So the 3 tips to help you get your toddler talking clearly are:

  1. Have lots of conversations with your toddler.
  2. When your toddler wants something, get them to say it before you give it to them.
  3. And go around labelling everything.

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If you need more than three tips on this – or you’d like to discover the secrets you need to have happy well-behaved, children – please contact me by clicking here. You can arrange a free 20-minute (no obligation) chat to find out if working with me personally (by phone, Skype or face-to-face) would help you and your family. Contact Elizabeth

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

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