Are you finding it difficult to start a meaningful discussion with a toddler? Especially those cute but sometimes difficult-to-understand toddlers? You're not alone.
It shouldn't be difficult to begin a conversation with a toddler since you are already halfway there if you know when to start, are paying attention, or even just offer open-ended questions.
According to research, a child's vocabulary can vary greatly by the time they are three years old. Some children may have a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words, while others may only have 200 words or fewer.
What does it mean by this? Our manner of speaking affects the general cognitive ability of our toddlers.
This blog article will discuss the difficulties you can encounter and how to overcome them, as well as how you can begin having meaningful talks with toddlers right now.
How to Start a Meaning Conversation with Toddlers
Starting a meaningful conversation with a toddler is important and sometimes tiring, especially when you don't know or have the necessary skills to start and hold a successful one.
Below are some important things to note and practice when trying to start meaningful conversations with toddlers;
1. Choose the Right Moments
Having a solid grasp of the appropriate timing to start a meaningful talk with your kid is highly crucial.
This is so because you want to refrain from starting any important discourse when they are absorbed in a cartoon, as it would just be a catastrophe.
Instead, you should choose periods when your youngster is comfortable and open to communicating with you without any interruptions. Mealtime, bathtime, and sleep are wonderful times for talks.
2. Listen Actively
Active listening to a kid requires more than simply hearing what they say; it also means thoroughly comprehending their sentiments and emotions.
Being patient is another component of active listening. Give your kids the freedom to express themselves, even via humorous gibberish.
You should always let them drive the argument at their own speed and avoid jumping in to fill the silence.
3. Meet Eye to Eye
When chatting with a child, establishing eye contact is really crucial. You might see it as providing them a front-row ticket to your discussion. It's an immediate connection enhancer.
Don't look away while beginning or amid any discussion with them; it sometimes looks to them that you're not listening, which may make them not speak as supposed.
So, if it means going down on your knees or sitting on the floor to accomplish this, do it, as it is really crucial in initiating and keeping meaningful discussions with toddlers.
4. Use Storytelling and Books
Whether you're reading a classic children's book or crafting your tales, stories are a perfect way to start meaningful conversations.
When reading together, allow them to be curious. Please encourage them to ask questions, explore the illustrations, and even make predictions about what happens next.
The characters, settings, and adventures within the pages become fuel for more thought-provoking conversations.
5. Always be Patient and Supportive
Patience and support are the twin pillars of meaningful conversations with toddlers.
In the toddler's world, you can't have them talk to you at an unrealistically fast pace; they are only toddlers.
Ensure you're constantly supportive when they speak because it helps reassure and encourage them to speak and say more.
6. Talk on their level: Squat down or sit beside the toddler.
This here can't be emphasized enough. When talking to a toddler, get low or sit beside them. This makes them feel comfortable and lets them know you're listening.
You shouldn't be standing while talking to them and letting them see you as some giant Goliath or fear God. Always go low; it's key to keeping them engaged.
7. Ask questions that do not only require yes or no to answer.
Asking questions that don't really have a straightforward yes or no is another good way of starting a meaningful conversation with a toddler.
And should always be mindful that questions should be natural, not an interrogation.
For instance, when you ask questions, make them interesting.
Instead of "Did you have fun?" ask, "Tell me about your best part of the day." This makes your child want to share stories, and you'll get surprising answers.
8. Talk about stuff they like
Humans, especially kids, love what they already know or are interested in. And with your toddler, you can know what they are interested in; simply pay attention to what your child enjoys and does often.
I personally do this by asking my kids questions like "Why do you like that?" or "What does the toy like to do?"
Most times, you'll be surprised by what they tell you. They might come up with something funny or just fascinating.
And no, they don't have to make any sense with all they say; I mean, they're toddlers, aren't they?
9. Ask, "What are you thinking about?"
Sometimes, the best way to start a meaningful conversation is by asking what's on their mind.
This is like saying, "What's going on in your head right now?" It invites sharing thoughts, dreams, and even silly stuff. Lol.
In most cases, their answers can be totally unexpected. They might tell you about plans to fly with a rainbow or have a tea party with their toys.
That's always the goal: starting and holding the conversation going.
Importance of Having Conversations with Toddlers
So why even start a conversation with my toddlers? Well, there are plenty of reasons why it is important to do this.
Below are some of these reasons;
Having conversations with toddlers helps them learn words and sentence structures as quickly as possible.
Who doesn't want to strengthen their bond with their toddler? Everyone, right?. Conversations help foster that because it's a way to connect, share, and make them feel loved.
When you find yourself always having conversations with your toddler(s), it allows them to express their feelings and thoughts.
Conversations greatly help toddlers learn how to solve problems, make choices, and express their needs.
Here's a Challenge for You
Here's a little challenge for all our readers: Start a conversation with one meaningful question on the way to school. (You can do it; look for the right moments, as we discussed earlier)
Do we have a deal?
Quick One: You can Buy My Books. Its a collection of educational content and stories with illustrations for your kids. I promise you will love them :)
So far, we've been able to spell out the best possible ways to start a meaningful conversation with a toddler, which should be easy if followed correctly.
We discussed that it is important to know the right moments you want to start the conversation in the first place, always listen attentively, maintain eye contact, ask open-ended questions, and so on.
You would often face challenges during these conversations, like being distracted, having communication barriers, or not even wanting to talk in the first place; patience and support always win.
Now you know how to start meaningful conversations with a toddler, go and start having one with yours today. Best wishes.
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