For his age, he speaks most of the words fluently and clearly, he also knew the meaning of such words especially the things around him. He can already understand instructions and commands. This has been a good achievement for us as his parents and we are really proud of it.
Toddlers learn their talking not just because it is an instinct to them but parents have a great responsibility in teaching them to talk. Here are some things we did to help Matt develop his speaking skills.
When he was still at the womb, we used to talk to him and much more when he came out. When we came home from work, we never fail to talk to him. Kids learn how to talk by mimicking what they hear. I read that parents that do not talk to their kids often might learn to speak late.
In contrast, we let him talk too.
We let him talk by his own even we did not understand what he says. We also observed that when we threw questions to him, he will pause for a while before answering. This is normal for kids. Let them think before they speak.
Rely on what he wants to say.
We never took focus on how he speak or pronounce the words. Like on my post on Matt’s Dictionary, he used to pronounce many things far from what he wants to say.
Confirm and make feedbacks.
We used to repeat or echo what we hear from him in the proper pronunciations (avoid baby talks) then, we elaborate that they want to say. In example when he says “papple” meaning pineapple, we repeat it with a confirmation by saying, “Yes, it is pineapple.” Furthermore, when he mentioned some words properly, we used to give compliments by saying “Very Good”. Such feedbacks will let kids know that they are saying the right things.
Show what we mean.
We did this by showing actions or things to him. During meal time, we used to let him know not only by saying “Kakain na (it’s mealtime)” but we let him see getting his high chair near the dining table. Although kids do not fully understand the meaning of mealtime, they will get a clue by the acts we did. Visual aids are always good to show things.
Refer to him when we talk.
Mention his name before saying anything to him helps by letting him knew that we are talking to him. Making an eye contact while talking will be another great help.
Introduce more words.
When we had an afternoon walk around the block or travelling, we used to point things around like grass, dogs, cats, flowers, etc. This will help them increase their vocabulary on different things around.
Use “barok” language.
We made our statement in concise manner. Instead of saying “Isara mo yung pinto. (Close the door).”, we just to say “Sara, pinto. (Close door)”. We used to emphasize the essential words. In such way, kids will let them focus on the essential words and information. Toddlers do not understand the use of articles and prepositions at such age.
When we are having conversations to him, we used to lower down, or much better turn-off the volume of radio or TV or any sound making device to let him focus on us. Toddlers are not yet that capable of separating background noise.
As parents, we need to know such things for our kid’s vital development like speaking skills.