How to Encourage a Toddler Boy to Talk?

By Julia Solovieva – Language teacher with more than 10 years of experience in teaching English as a second language. You can follow her on FB on Random English.

Wondering how to encourage a toddler boy to talk is absolutely natural and happens to many parents of little boys. 

The thing is, speech development is not such a cut-and-dry process.

There are a few milestones each child of a particular age has to pass.

However, they may pass them at slightly different times, and, overall, speech development can happen very differently in children. 

In this article, we are going to focus on helping your toddler along, tips on how you can encourage your toddler boy to speak as a natural part of their speech development. 

Please, note: This article does not represent a doctor’s opinion or give medical advice on speech pathology and speech development.

If you feel your child’s speech development is not what it should be at their age, make sure to consult a professional.

 So, how can you encourage your toddler to speak more?

Why interfere? – The huge importance of talking to your child 

Aren’t kids supposed to be like a sponge and absorb whatever they hear, anyway?

Yes, they are.

But they can’t be a ‘sponge’ if there’s little to nothing to absorb. 

Young children need to be exposed to a lot of language to develop their own language skills.

And for the first few years of a child’s life, their parents are the key source of language. 

Talking to your child in different situations about lots of different things is absolutely essential.

It will improve their understanding of language, expand their vocabulary, help them build better communication skills. 

Some children will be shyer and will need more support and encouragement when talking.

Others are more outgoing and talk more freely, but they still need their parents’ support and attention.

The best tips on how to encourage a toddler boy to speak now 

There are many different ways you can encourage a toddler to speak, from creating the right atmosphere and getting the right toys to sometimes simply listening. 

With the tips below, you’ll be fully equipped to help your toddler along with their speech development. Let’s dive in!

Listen and pay attention 

Listening is a huge part of encouraging your child to talk.

We all want to be heard, and young children are no exceptions. 

If your kid knows that they can share their emotions, thoughts, and stories with you – and you will be glad to listen – they will be much more willing to talk about a wider variety of things. 

If you can’t talk to your kid at a particular moment – for instance, if you need to take a work call, – make sure to explain it to them in a calm and kind manner and find an opportunity to talk to your child later. 

Paying attention to how your child talks is also essential.

It will help you see what they are good at and where they might need more help. It will also allow you to notice and deal with speech problems earlier if any arise.

Focus on what your child is interested in 

All of us, toddlers included, love talking about what interests us – and you can make the most of it when encouraging your toddler boy to talk. 

Does he like tractors? Great! Get some tractor toys (here’s a great selection) and let him talk about tractors. 

In fact, almost any toy can have some educational value and can be used to encourage speech. 

Take magnetic tiles, for instance: they can be used to learn simple words like colors, shapes, and sizes, and you can also have longer and more complex conversations describing what you are building while you are building it. 

Check out great magnetic tiles, their benefits, and tips on playing with them here.

Add variety

While focusing on your child’s interests is important, you should also try and add variety to what you talk about. Yes, tractors are great, but they should not be the only thing you talk to your son about. 

You can point out new things when on a walk with your child or introduce some new toys.

Introducing musical toys like these, for instance, is a wonderful way to encourage speech and creativity while also learning something about notes and music. 

Don’t force it, though.

If your child rejects a toy or a topic, don’t push it on them and try something else instead.

Let your child be curious 

Your child may ask a lot of questions about anything and everything – so let them do it.

Don’t discourage questions and use them as talking opportunities instead.

You don’t have to come up with complex explanations!

There’s no need to give your toddler a lecture on light refraction if they ask why the sky is blue.

Give simple answers, tell stories, or even engage your child in coming up with an answer by talking and asking them questions! 

Adjust the way you talk 

Simplify your speech to help your child understand you and focus on important information. 

There should, however, be a balance between simple and more complex things.

If you engage in primitive baby-talk only, the toddler won’t be able to develop their speaking skills. 

It is also important to make sufficient pauses for your child to respond when talking to them or asking them a question.

It may take a toddler longer to respond than it would take an adult.

Read books and sing songs 

There are lots of different ways to expose your child to language apart from just talking to them: read books together, memorize nursery rhymes, sing songs, tell stories. 

This is a great way to learn new words, including some that you don’t come across often in your day-to-day routine, and find new topics to talk about.

Talk to your child as much as possible 

This is another case when ‘practice makes perfect’. In fact, research has shown that the more parents talk to their child, the better the child will become at using and understanding language. 

Talk to your toddler whenever you can – at home, out on a walk, when playing or doing chores together. 

Making talking a large part of your daily life will encourage your child to speak and help them develop their language skills easier and faster.

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