8 Ways to Get Your Child to Speak
Most often children just need a little more incentive to get them talking.
There are many ways of “tempting” your child to speak. Here are 8 Communicative Temptations that are helpful:
1. Eat something your child loves in their presence without offering them any. When your child indicates that they would like some, model a more advanced way for them to make the request, whether it is using a word or a simple phrase.
2. Play with something your child loves but don’t offer to share. For instance if your child loves playing with play dough and wants to participate in the fun, you could model the /p/ sound for “please” or “play”. If your child can already say one word model a two word phrase for the child to imitate like, “play please.”
3. At meal time and snack time give your child bite size portions. Rather than dishing up a whole serving for them, then wait for them to request more.
4. Limit your child’s access to things. Your child should have limited access to things they like such as toys, food, or going outside. Set it up so they have to make a request or ask for help to access these things. You may accomplish this by putting favorite things up high or locked up.
5. Play turn-taking games. Games such as rolling the ball back and forth, or pushing a car back and forth are good examples. Once your child expects another turn hold the car or ball and wait. Look at your child expectantly if no verbal request is made, model an appropriate request such as the /b/ sound, the word “ball” or “ball please”.
6. Use tight containers to store things in. When your child indicates they want a cookie you might hand your child the cookie jar (tightly sealed of course), when your child can’t open it and hands it back to you say “open” or “o”.
7.Use wind-up toys or other toys that are difficult for kids to operate on their own. Use a wind-up toy and hand it to your child for their turn, wait for them to request help by using the word to operate the toy such as “go” or “more”.
8.Blow bubbles then screw the lid on tightly. Hand back the bubbles to your child for their turn. Wait for your child to request help with a word. Model the word if necessary.
Using these little tricks that require your child to communicate will teach your child the power of communication. They will learn very quickly that when for example they say the word “out” they can go outside but if they simply cry by the door nothing happens.
It is important to be quick with your reinforcement so your child will make the connection easily. For example if you are teaching your child to request “more cookie” be sure to have that cookie ready to give them right away. When your child points or tantrums pay no attention at all, or be sure to explain that you don’t understand what they want even when you do. Then model an appropriate way to make the request. When your child sees that they can communicate their wants/needs effectively, it will give them added confidence that will help them in the continuing process of language development.