It’s one of the most exciting events a parent looks forward to after the birth of their child, being there to hear them utter their first word. Which one will it be, mom, dad, or something entirely different? After the go signal of their first word, keeping the conversation going is the challenge. Here are some ways to help you with that.

1. Keep talking

The more you talk, the more your child is going to get familiar with the words you use and get encouraged to join you. Be careful with the words you use around your toddler, but keep talking around them.

2. Associate your words with actions

If you’re telling your child to sit down, act it out for them. Sit down yourself and watch them follow you. Associating actions with words helps them understand what you’re telling them to do, and it’ll help them remember it for longer.

3. Complete their sentences

If your toddler gets around to saying only one word, use that word to formulate a sentence. If they say the word blue, encourage them to say ‘The sky is blue’ or something along those lines. Give them some time to hesitate before they get it right.

4. Listen

As important as teaching them to talk is, you must listen to what they’re trying to tell you. Even if it’s just one broken word, let them know that you’ve understood what they’re trying to convey. This way you’ll increase their confidence. You can try to get them to pronounce the words properly a little later, first let them get the hang of a constant flow of words.

5. Don’t rely on the television or internet

Try as much as possible to keep your child away from these as they may pick up things you would rather have them avoid. How ever much these shows try to help toddlers speak, nothing can beat face to face interaction. Also while talking, mute any source of noise as kids find it harder to block out background disturbances.

6. Give them many opportunities to learn

Always try and introduce them to new things and point out to them what they are. Make them repeat it to you. Don’t lose patience if they forget the name when you ask them a few days later, it’s not a test. Try and simplify your speech so they can focus on the important words.

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