Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Communicating with Your Baby and Toddler
The word "communication" actually means listening. Most
parents talk too much and listen too little.
Communicating with Your Baby
The easiest way to teach yourself how to communicate with
your child is to begin communicating with her before she has
any intelligible speech. Try repeating what your baby says
as closely as you can. It may sound like gibberish to you
but it may make good sense to your baby.
Communicating with Your Toddler
There are two cardinal rules for speech development in
toddlers: (1) Be responsive to your child's speech. (2) Do
not correct your child's speech.
To be responsive to your child's speech, do something that
is related to what your child has just said. If he looks at
a glass of milk and says "Coke," do not correct him. Pick
up the glass and/or say "Coke." In this way, your toddler
will learn that speech serves an important function.
Not correcting your child's speech may be difficult to do.
Most of us are used to adults who can and do profit from
being corrected. However, a young child may take your
correction as a sign that he did something wrong. It won't
do any good to explain that you aren't mad at him. Just
refrain from correcting him if you possibly can.