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Helping toddler learn to communicate

(6 Posts)
apatheticfallacy Mon 08-Aug-16 11:01:55

Advice and ideas greatly appreciated:

DS is 14 months and having huge tantrums constantly - screaming, head in his hands on the floor, back arching, kicking and hitting etc. This happens several times an hour, but he can be absolutely lovely in between.

I know tantrums are just a normal part of development and in dealing with them as best as I can - I'm trying to acknowledge his feelings eg. 'you're angry you can't drink the bleach' (not an actual example obviously) even though I'm pretty sure he doesn't understand it I figured it's a good habit to try to get into? And then I attempt to distract him with something else although he can be pretty persistant.

He doesn't communicate at all really except for babbling and I wonder if a lot of the frustration comes from this. He has no words and doesn't point to show what he wants. I've tried baby signing but he doesn't copy the actions, he doesn't copy actions in songs either. Except for continuing to show him how I point is there anything else I can try to help him?

Is he too young to learn to nod for yes and shake for no?

Dandelionandfizz Mon 08-Aug-16 11:14:13

I have a 16mo and I'm still struggling with this. I did teach him to say 'yeah' sounds more like 'eh' at about 13 months and he has recently started to shake his head and say no but he still get very frustrated and tantrums over things.

I taught him to say yeah by feeding him something he likes off a spoon. After every mouthful I would ask if he wanted more and then prompt him to say yeah and nod his head. Then when he made any vocal noise I would say 'yeah!' in a really happy tone, give him the spoonful and praise him. By repeating the yeah I was correcting him but also praising so overtime it has started to sound more and more like the word iyswim. Try not to do it when he is hungry or he will just get frustrated. Maybe with a pudding or something like that.

Youcantscaremeihavechildren Mon 08-Aug-16 11:20:47

It is hard, at 14 months we had a lot of
Screeching and tantrums but it had got easier at 16 months, he now will use a sound a bit like 'tha' to get things he wants (although it is then a guessing game holding up and pointing to things constantly to find out what 'tha' is!) He will now point and I just find what you're doing, acknowledging what they are feeling and saying verbally, repeating words once they've attempted a noise etc, does help. Even if it just helps you to feel like you understand him! I do still find myself despairing though and sobbing 'what do you want.....' on a regular's definitely got easier in the last month or two though.

apatheticfallacy Mon 08-Aug-16 11:26:04

Thank you both for the replies - it's nice to know I'm not alone! I feel like all the other babies from the antenatal group are at least trying to point etc before deciding it's the end of the world! It's good to hear it will improve in the not too distant future too (hopefully!)

I keep telling myself that even when he can tell me what's wrong it's probably not logical anyway.

fizz the description of teaching your 16 month old to say 'yeah' sounds a lot like when we trained our lab to sit grin I'm going to give it a go!

Dandelionandfizz Mon 08-Aug-16 11:36:40

The dog training analogy is pretty accurate blush When he would turn his head away because he was full I would shake my head and say 'no all finished' and he learnt how to tell me that too.

You're definitely not alone in this.

Maggiemufffan Mon 08-Aug-16 12:09:15

I've a 16 month old, she has just learnt to nod yes and shake no after only shaking no for everything at the start!. She actually understands so much more than I initially gave her credit for and now I just keep repeating simple questions and asking her to show me yes or no. She is also however starting with the throwing and hitting and generally gurning when she doesn't get her own way and whilst she was a great baby I'm really not sure if I'm cut out for the toddler stage!

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