Updated: Aug 16, 2020
A quick trick to boost toddler language and foster effective communication with your child.
Take a moment to think about the number of times we ask our children questions throughout the day...
"Was that fun?"
"Why are you crying?"
"How was your day?
"What color is that?"
"What does the dog say?"
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We often unintentionally quiz our children about how they're feeling and why or about concepts they might know. This actually puts more pressure on the child (especially in early childhood when our little one's are experiencing so many emotions with often little vocabulary to express them).
“If you know enough to ask a question, you know enough to make a statement.” - Brenna Hicks, PhD, RPT, LMHC
Instead of constantly asking your child questions, try modeling language by turning your questions into statements. This will help your child process the world through emotions, expand vocabulary, and model effective communication. Like anything with parenting, creating a balance between asking questions and making statements is ideal. It's tough to break the constant-question-asking habit so being intentional about the way you communicate with your child is the most important part. The easiest way to turn your questions into statements is by using the "I wonder..." sentence starter. Keep reading to hear some real life examples.
Real life examples-
"What do you want to do next?" -- "Hmm, I wonder what you want to do next."
"Why are you upset?" -- "You're upset that you couldn't stay."
"What do you see?" -- "Hi doggy! Woof woof!"
"Did that scare you?" -- "That scared you!"
"What do you want for snack?" -- "I wonder what tasty snack we should have."