Communicating with your toddler

2-3 years

By now your tot will be enjoying nursery rhymes. Children love rhyme, rhythm and repetition, even though it may drive you mad! All this time, his speech muscles are strengthening and his word range is increasing.

He’ll enjoy sharing time when you read to him. It’s helpful for you to pick out words, but let him see your face. Remember the movie ET? The little alien learnt by watching and repetition, your tot will do the same. He’ll be starting to say, ‘I want?’ instead of ‘Tom wants’. This is an important step, as he’s beginning to think of himself as an individual. Children are curious and their constant ‘whys’ might drive you crazy, but it’s important to be patient with them.

What you can do

*Instead of telling him what to do, turn the tables and ask him to tell you what he’s doing. ‘Why is teddy lying on the sofa?’
*Ask questions that are ‘open ended’ so he can begin to build up sentences. Always give him time to explain, and don’t laugh when he gets words wrong.
*Try to answer his questions in simple terms and, when possible, demonstrate. When he goes to school, he’ll be asked to do this in class and he’ll be more confident if he’s already seen you do it.