Little Miss/Mr Chatterbox

“Mum , Mummy , Mum!” is the constant chant of the day. I am the proud parent of a three year old and I am forever grateful that she is able to communicate her needs and wants to me as I know that many children struggle with their communication skills, but there are also times when I want to go and hide in a cupboard with a block of chocolate.

If you are also the proud parent of a little chatterbox, then you have more than likely asked yourself the question ‘why?’ Why does my child talk so much?

Developmental milestones tell us that between the ages of 3 – 5 children :

– Speak in sentences and use many different words

– Answer simple questions

– Ask many questions

– Tell stories

– Talk constantly

– Enjoy talking and may like to experiment with new words

– Use adult forms of speech

– Take part in conversations

– Enjoys jokes, rhymes and stories

– Will assert themselves with words

So how can you support your child’s language development while keeping sane?

Letting your child know that you enjoy listening to them but also need some quiet time at intervals also shows them that there will be times they need to be quiet. At times I have let my daughter know “‘I love all your wonderful questions, but right now let’s enjoy some quiet time and after mummy has finished reading or at the end of you watching your tv show you can tell me all about it, or you can think of something  you’d like to share with me.”

Be as attentive as possible when your child is talking to you. Using encouraging snippets from information they have shared to ask where, who and why questions will help them build on their comprehension skills.

Your child may be bursting to tell you something at inconvenient times ; such as when you are on the phone or talking to someone else. When I am on the phone I give my child a choice of activities that they can do while sitting near me. The choice board is kept in a small bag along with the activities and it has a picture of a phone on the board. The bag only gets used when I am on the phone. Giving your child a choice helps them feel like they are in control.

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Practice turn conversations or play turn taking games that involve short waiting periods.

As much as it can be trying at times, try and remind yourself that your child may not always be a willing participant in conversations. In years to come you may be the one trying your best to get them to talk to you.