Tips For Effective Toddler Communication

Hello student.

Welcome to Day 3 in your 8 day Honest Toddler Academy of Parenting Good.

Yesterday we covered Toddler Mood Swings. I hope you are now happily riding your toddler's emotional rollercoaster and letting it jerk you around without complaint. 

Today we will learn Tips for Toddler Communication with an emphasis on Help and Screaming. Take a seat. Not the red chair, that's mine. Nevermind just stand. 

Tips for Effective Toddler Communication


Toddlers are a very proud species. Asking for help is difficult. One of the many reasons why it is essential to hover over your child is to protect him from the humiliation of having to make a verbal request for assistance. If, for some reason, you get caught up in Facebook and don’t spot trouble before it arrives, your child may ask for help in a variety of nontraditional way. 

1. Breaking items: A particularly angry toddler may choose to stomp a toy unrecognizable. Rush over. No judgment, please. Just replace it and forgive yourself. 

2. Inconsolable tears: You’ve really dropped the ball, haven’t you? When a young and gifted child needs help putting on her socks, it’s important that you show up before her shirt is soaked in a sea of sadness. 

3. Clothing removal: We’ve touched on the many reasons why your toddler might feel the need to go nude. A cry for help is one of them.

4. Slapping: Handle this gracefully and without punishment. I know what you’re thinking: “Why didn’t my toddler just calmly ask for help in a form of English I’m more familiar with?” Most likely, your child did ask for help in her mind several times before resorting to unconventional methods of communication. Seems like those parenting instincts you speak of so much aren’t as strong as you’d like to believe. 

A Note About Screaming

Toddlers don’t scream for no reason at all. Science has proved that twenty to thirty daily screams help your toddler’s lungs grow into maturity. The next time your child’s battle cry makes you lose hearing/vision for a few minutes, say, “Thanks, science!” instead of closing your eyes and using swears. There are several varieties of the toddler scream. The better you get to know them, the faster they’ll become your friends. 

Recreational Scream

This yell accompanies twinkling laughter and is best described as an overflow of pure delight. You won’t be expecting it, so your blood may run cold. If your heart stops, just pound your chest. If you look around, you’ll notice that nothing is wrong and your toddler is just having the time of his life. 

Rage Scream

Disobedient toys. Water that can’t listen. The reasons your toddler might roar in anger are endless. This scream needs to be treated with respect or it will be quickly followed with Berserk. Berserk is when your toddler does windmill arms and tries to break every- thing in sight, including your face. 

Cry Scream
Sometimes, when a toddler is crying, tears just aren’t enough. She’ll take a deep breath and let out a vocal lamentation that will definitely turn heads if you happen to be in public. If there are any dogs around, they will instinctively begin to howl in unison. 

Fun Facts About Toddler Communication
  • Just because a toddler is looking at you and speaking doesn’t mean she’s talking to you.
  • Just because a toddler makes direct eye contact and says your name doesn’t mean she’s talking to you.
  • Just because a toddler is staring into your eyes, uses your government name, and is sitting in your lap, does not mean she's speaking to you so please stay out of it. 
  • At any given time, there are six or seven imaginary friends with whom your toddler may be in deep conversation. Don’t inter- rupt. You don’t know these people.
  • Toddlers often begin stories in the middle, return to the beginning
Some parents think it’s their job to make a toddler communicate in the same way they do. I’m shaking my head, but you can’t see me. You are a caregiver, not a colonizer. You are a visitor in the land of toddlertopia. After your passport has been stamped, it’s your responsibility to assimilate.

This above was an excerpt from The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting coming out in paperback April 22, 2014. Preorder to get the great price. Each book comes with a car*

*(car is delivered to your imagination)

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