Toddlers are good at observing and imitating, so you must be careful when talking and carrying yourself around. To guide your toddler through their developmental milestones, first, appreciate that each child has their pace. When your toddler is ready to talk, you should do the following to improve their vocabulary and social interaction:
Encourage Toddler Plays
Most toddlers are naturally playful, which is healthy because it is the surest way to grow, learn, and explore. Playing more often exposes your child to more opportunities to talk and listen. As you have fun, keep talking and repeating words, and you’ll be surprised how fast they learn.
Playing challenges your child to talk and engage with their playmates for the game to be productive. If you constantly engage your child in games when young, they’re likely to be popping words that will amuse you by the time they will be three years old. While on it, note that it can be frustrating for toddlers to try to talk to you in futility when they cannot take the words out, so encourage them instead of correcting them now and then.
Allow Moderate Television Exposure
Television is a communicative medium you can use to expose your toddler to images and sounds. However, exposure to television shouldn’t substitute the time you spend playing and talking with your baby, as it may cause language development disorders. Ensure your child spends one to two hours on television daily, or else they may become couch potatoes.
Also, remember to monitor the content your toddler watches on television, as it may influence their character. In this digital era where nearly every parent has a TV and internet bundles, the most you can do is to select meaningful content for your child depending on their age. Non-informative and hostile content may instill violent behavior in your child, ruining their ability to relate socially.
You can determine the kind of shows your child should watch, thanks to the internet. Social network platforms also have diverse content you can allow your kid to watch. It is much safer than exposing them to content that you have no control over.
Talk With Your Baby
When your toddler talks to you, do not respond in their sounds but communicate as though you’re addressing an adult. It might seem weird, but it exposes your child to more words, thus enriching their vocabulary. When you get back home from work, hug your toddler and ask them how their day was, as you also narrate how you spent yours.
You will probably have a back-and-forth conversation, but you can rest assured that someone is absorbing your words. If you don’t talk to your child, you may see them living a boring, lonely life, affecting their other developmental milestones. They will also have very little to say because they also don’t hear much.
Read To Them
Spending significant time reading for your child is essential regardless of their age. Start by reading them simple stories when they are young and advance as they grow older. The bonding will teach them sound social interaction skills while the sounds you read aloud will stick in their minds.
Picture books are ideal for toddlers because they’re colorful and attractive. They will satisfy your little one’s curiosity and expose them to thousands of new words. Reading a book daily will enrich the toddler’s vocabulary by up to 1.4 million compared to those lacking the opportunity.
Buy Them Toy Animals
You will get plastic or wooden toy animals from baby stores. The toys are fun and stimulate creative play in your child. You can even try doing sign language to help your baby build their vocabulary.
It’s interesting to learn different animal names and sounds with your toddler. They are likely to pay attention as you call each animal toy by name and produce their sounds. Keep repeating the same until your toddler can name the animals alone.
Essential Social Skills Your Child Needs to Learn
Good social skills help children drive healthy peer relationships. It is impossible for your child to acquire the skillset instantly; be patient and help them refine as they grow in other life aspects. You shouldn’t expect your child to have these skills or to learn fast; it will take your effort and practice to get there.
It’s never too early to start teaching your toddler the following social skills:
- Respect for self and others
The Role of Empathy In Developing Social Interaction for Toddlers
Every parent has to help in developing their children’s patterns early in their lives. Empathy is the ability to visualize what other people feel in their situations and show concern. If you can help your toddler develop empathy, you can build a solid basis for social-emotional skills that they need throughout their lives.
To cultivate empathy in your child, you have to empathize with them and show care. The more you repeat such actions, the more they will be engraved in your toddler’s mind. If they harass other children, empathize with the oppressed parties instead of reprimanding your child.
Should your child experience painful moments of frustration and anger, do not start fixing the issue to protect them from the agony. The best thing to do is validate their painful feelings and let them know you care, even if you caused them the pain. Your child will understand that such are everyday occurrences, and they should show care when it happens to other people.
You need to make sure they are getting exposed to the world around them in order to increase your toddler’s vocabulary and social interaction. One of the mistakes many parents make is keeping their children too isolated. Find ways of providing your toddler sound company for maximal interaction with people from different walks of life. It helps them learn fast and develop interpersonal skills that they need to build their personality.
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