One of the things that has been really worrying me and my wife recently is the fact that my daughter hasn’t started talking. She turned 3 years old today, so you can imagine how much of a concern her vocabulary has been. She would often repeat a word once or twice on one day, but then not say it again at all.
Because of this, we have been getting more and more stressed about it. So, we took my punk rock princess to the GP to see what they suggest. We’ve also tried to make changes to our lifestyle to help her more. So, I wanted to go over what we have done, as it has already started to have a positive affect Since there isn’t a huge amount of helpful information online about late talking, hopefully, this will be useful to some of you. However, do keep in mind that every child is different, and whilst these have worked for us, they may not work for your child.
Turn Off The TV
My daughter loves to have the TV on. She doesn’t really watch it, but she generally didn’t like to play without the TV creating background noise. Because of this, it was on almost constantly. It made her happy, but she didn’t really get anything out of it. On top of that, she didn’t play with her toys that much, instead jumping on the sofa or running around the house.
Since we made the decision to not allow TV during the day, things have changed. Sure, she was very angry about it to begin with… There were a lot of tamtrums when we wouldn’t allow her to have it on. However, she soon went off and started playing with her toys again. On top of this, she seemed to pay more attention to what was being said to her. Therefore, it would seem that having the TV on, even as just background noise, is distracting enough that it can hinder your child’s ability to focus on what you are saying.
Go To Nursery
This is one of the things I cannot stress enough. Many will say that Nursery is important because of the social aspects, and that is definitely part of it, but there is another aspect as well. If your child needs something, they will usually have a specific type of cry or action to let you know. You become accustomed to these tones and actions, actually learning to understand them. I mean, that’s basically your job as a parent when you have a baby or toddler.
However, because you can understand these cries and behaviours, your child doesn’t need to develop any other communication method – what they are already doing works. Why learn to ask for food when you can just cry like you always have done?
By taking your child to nursery, that understanding of their crying and behaviour is taken away. The carers are the nursery won’t know the various specific tone changes, so your child will need to learn a new way to communicate. This, obviously, would be learning to talk.
Point Out Everything
Another thing that you should do is point out and talk about everything, no matter how silly it seems or embarrassed you may feel. Whenever my daughter and I are walking around, I am constantly talking to her. I’ll describe the area, talk about the animals and discuss what we are doing. Of course, I get no reply, so I’m basically having a conversation with myself… This might look odd to people passing by, but my daughter pays attention to most of what I say.
This will help her learn the mouth movements and sounds of various words. Just make sure you speak softly, slowly and repeat words quite a few times. This seems to really help keep your child’s attention and should mean they are able to learn the words quicker.
Speak To An Expert, Not Google
This actually goes for pretty much anything related to child development and medical questions. You should never rely on Google to try and figure out what is happening with your child. As I mentioned at the start of this post, every child is different. You’re probably sick of hearing this and don’t really pay attention to it after being told that hundreds of times by doctors. However, it really is true!
No single child will develop exactly the same as another child. It simply doesn’t happen.
So, rather than try and figure out a guessed answer from the hodgepodge of information out there on Google, just get yourself and your child to an expert. This will typically start with an appointment with your GP. If they feel that there is a need for it, they will then get the ball rolling for you to see a paediatrician. This way, you’ll be able to get answers that are right for your child, not someone else’s.
And That’s All Folks
Those are my four things you should do if you are worried about your child being a late talker. I won’t go into all of the different possible reasons for a child talking late, because there are hundreds… Instead, try out these tips and then, if nothing seems to improve, go to your GP and talk in length with them. They will be able to help.
Is your child a late talker? Were you a late talker? Let me know in the comments below!