Top 10 Tips For Parents: Language Development

I am not one to profess how to raise your child. It drives me crazy when I get unsolicited advice from strangers or even loved ones as if everyone else knows my child better than I do!! However, I am expert in language development. Therefore, I want to share some language tips for parents, NOT PARENTING STYLES! 

I recommend that you read these tips and come back and reference them when needed. Some will apply to your child and some will not. Some you will be able to use during certain situations and some won't fit at all. All tips are proven techniques to help with toddler behavior and language learning.

Remember, you, the parent, are the expert on your child!

Top 10 Tips For Parents!

1. Offer choices to create a structured environment and a confident child

Most children, like the rest of us, prefer to feel in control. However, children are children and need guidance. By offering good choices, you set your child up for success as you provide them with the ability to have some control over their environment. Also, by making positive choices, your child will build confidence with their decision making. This tip also works on receptive language (understanding questions) and expressive language (answering questions) skills.

For example, instead of asking “what do you want for lunch?” ask “do you want Chicken or Lasagna?” This way, your child can have control over what he or she wants to eat as well as choose healthy options. Win Win!

2. If you might not like the answer, don’t ask the question!

However, remember, there are times when giving your child the power to answer a question is NOT a good idea! My rule of thumb is...if you might not like the answer, don’t ask the question!

For example, let’s say that you want your child to clean up toys. Don’t ask, “Can you clean up your toys?” Your child might say “no!” Instead, set the rules and say “Time to clean up your toys (less wiggle room for a power struggle!)

Some children more than others, need structure. Clear cut rules will help with this. I see many parents, including myself, asking questions instead of telling/explaining rules. This can cause confusion for our little ones. 

3. Play, really play with your child. Don’t sit above your child and give commands

Play time is not frivolous for your toddler. It is the time when he or she learns the most. Therefore, play time should be taken seriously (in a fun way of course!). Many times I see parents using play time as a break from parenting or time to play with their phones. They may clap or shout be careful from the sidelines but they do not truly interact. This is a bit unfortunate. While playtime may seem silly and a “waste of time” for adults, it is not! Trust me! This is the time when your child is learning. Take advantage.

Of course, you can’t always play with your child all day long. Someone has to cook, clean, and do all those other daily chores. However, when you do play with your child, make it count. Teach them. Get on the floor. Enjoy being a child again. Explore. Laugh. Play!

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Enjoy your list and let me know if you have any questions!

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series

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