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people with quite little los - how much do you talk to them?

(26 Posts)
greenandpleasant Sun 31-Aug-08 19:49:09

feeling a bit paranoid ... I've always been good at being on my own, sitting reading a book or the paper, don't need the radio on, don't need to ring people up for long chats etc. silence is fine for me. (am lone parent too).

ds is 16mo and he has a few "words" - ie sounds that do mean something specific, but nothing that he actually comes out with himself, eg he doesn't point at a dog and say "dog", though he knows what a dog is.

I have friends who talk non-stop to their kids. Everything they pick up is described and talked about, books aren't just read but the pictures gone over and everything pointed out. I think this may be at one extreme but suspect I'm at the other.

If I'm giving ds his lunch I will suddenly realise that we're sitting face to face and I haven't spoken to him. Then start telling him what he's eating and that its nice etc. Then run out of inspiration and go quiet again or sort of forget halfway through that I should be talking to him and go back to my own thoughts.

Do I need to do more on the talking front? If so what? I just don't seem able to come out with the stream-of-consciousness that others do.

Sorry this is so long. thank you.

RubySlippers Sun 31-Aug-08 19:51:55

i am a chatter so talk to DS a lot

BUT i don't think there is anything wrong with silence either

if you go for walk do you say stuff like "ooooh look at the lovely trees?"? That is fine - you don't IMVHO need to do a continual dialogue

reading to your baby is fab and the fact that your DS has words is GOOD - he is picking up language

Dropdeadfred Sun 31-Aug-08 19:51:55

I tended to do a running commentary on things..but did occasionally 'remind' myself to talk more

But dd3 was talking quite alot by a yea old so was hard to not talk to her by then ifykwim

PuppyMonkey Sun 31-Aug-08 19:54:39

I didn't realise I was a running commentary sort of person, but it turns out I definitely am. I cathc myself doing it now and think wtf???!!!!

boogeek Sun 31-Aug-08 19:56:20

I think if you are a quiet person you are a quiet person - I'm not much good at speaking to babies, either (and I can't bear the whole whose an ickle wickle man then nonsense). For me it gets much easier once they are giving something back: once he is pointing at a dog and saying dog, or woof, or whatever, it is so cute that you can't help but start saying look what's that?
However. Maybe you could just start with here's your sandwich, or start something like right, lunchtime, shall we have ham or cheese? (pause, wait as though he has answered) Cheese? Right then.
I suspect the more you do it the easier it will get. And reading books is always going to be a good idea - you could try describing the pictures or pointing out that dog again. But don't go mad,you'll feel stupid and he will know wink

nickytwotimes Sun 31-Aug-08 19:56:29

We are a very vocal family - there is always chat, so ds has grown up joining in.

HOWEVER, I don't think you need to worry about it. You should just carry on being yourself. A few words at 16 mths is absolutely fine and totally normal.
I have a friend whose ds hardly speaks and they never shut up in her house either, so I don't think it's clear cut anyway!

ILikeYourSleeves Sun 31-Aug-08 19:58:34

I tend to do a running commentry on things I'm doing with DS (10 mths), like telling him what he's having for his meal, is it yummy? Can mummy have some? Would you like some more? Oh you've dropped your toy on the floor. I'll pick it up. Oh is that some toast for mummy? Mmmmm thankyou! etc etc etc. I talk through dressing him, sing songs about brushing teeth, tell him we're going out & where we are going, ask him about his toys etc.

If you naturally enjoy silence it might take a bit more of an effort to talk to your DS but you could try to chat about what you are doing most of the time then that will increase his exposure to words. Maybe take him to the park and talk about what you see, get some books and point out what's in them like those vocab books or anything with pictures in it really. I don't think you need to talk every minute but just chatting about what you are up would probably be fine. And also even when you are reading your own book / magazine you could read it out to him, but in a more baby friendly tone if you know what I mean. HTH.

PerkinWarbeck Sun 31-Aug-08 19:59:10

I am a fairly self-contained type, and definitely not as chatty to my 17mo DD as many mothers are to their DC.

However, DD witters on constantly, both in her own babble and with lots of proper words, more so than her peers, so I'm far from convinced that being a chatty mum is essential for speech acquisition. She does love books though, so reading is quite a big part of our day.

Piffle Sun 31-Aug-08 20:04:03

I talk all the time at 17mths so does ds2
Ds1 was the same
Now dd was non verbal til age 3 (early developmental delays) but then at age 3 she just started talking and never stopped. I always talked and engaged with her
I am a non stop talker though really irritating at times!
But believe it's either inherited or learned from me!

Piffle Sun 31-Aug-08 20:05:15

talk all the time TO ds2 and now he does talk back loads too
Sorry brain away moment

OrmIrian Sun 31-Aug-08 20:13:08

If he doesn't want to talk, that's fine. Otherwise it's just pointless noise to him. I usually just give a commentary on what's going on. Or read the paper to him. Or leave r4 on. It doesn't have to be only your words.

I have been 'blessed' hmm with three witterers loqacious offspring.

cat64 Sun 31-Aug-08 20:13:09

Message withdrawn

n5rje Sun 31-Aug-08 20:18:38

I don't think there's anything wrong with not talking constantly - I've always talked to my DSs as I would another adult even as babies and when they couldn't reply I just carried as if they had iykwim. Its just not me to be able to do baby talk or keep up a running commentary and I've found no problems other than that I can hear myself in the way they speak and they do all talk in a very adult way. I guess its a matter of personal preference but I wouldn't try to be what you're not.

greenandpleasant Sun 31-Aug-08 20:52:16

Thanks all. Think I probably do need to make more effort on the talking front but definitely feeling less paranoid about it!

AbstractMouse Sun 31-Aug-08 20:55:24

I did the whole monologue thing with dd, only because my Mum said she did it with me (for example going around the house and pointing things out etc) and I was a very early talker. Dd was also an early talker. However with Ds, I do talk to him a lot (probably not as much as with dd) and at 23 months he's a man of few words, he makes the sounds of word, with correct intonation, but few actual words.

I think (hope) it's just down to each individual child, and I'm hoping Ds will start talking soon. It's hard not to worry when Dd was speaking in sentences and very imaginative at this point.

Talking constantly doesn't come naturally to me, and I am quiet a lot of the time, I do have to remind myself to talk to them sometimes. I thin as long as you talk to them a reasonable amount you will be fine.

LackaDAISYcal Sun 31-Aug-08 21:04:38

I've always chatted to my DS sonce he was a tiny baby and do the same with DD who is 14mo. not in baby talk though; just chatting and talking as though they are adults. She hears a lot of chat between me and DS and then with DH whe he is home at weekends though and is picking it up pretty quickly.

I know from asking her something or even just the things I say that she understands a hell of a lot of stuff. If I ask her to go and fetch something, she generally gets it first time (unless distracted by one of a million things in her way), and the other day I said the DS I was off upstairs to get ready and she came to the stairgate and started shouting bath. If she tries to say a word I always repeat it to her correctly with a "very good" or "well done" so she knows to be encouraged. Funny though it is to hear her call strawberries Aaaaaw Bebbies, I think it's important to call them by their correct name.

I do sometimes have quiet refelctive moments though and can find myself sitting quietly with her as she eats, but I like to think it's companionable silence, like the one she lives in when I'm working on MN grin.

Tinkjon Sun 31-Aug-08 22:55:05

I talk a lot of the time but also have periods of silence. Did baby signing and loads of talking with DD, who is extremely vocal (polite way of saying that she never shuts up ) so gawd knows why I'm doing it again now with DS

bluewolf Sun 31-Aug-08 23:00:10

I might be imagining things but I sort of think the kid dictates how you are with thm aswell. Ds now 6 was always someonewho took a keen interest in chat and social things etc, but dd is someone you can companiablely read with and exchange funny looks and have the same amount of communication go on.
I think it's a bit weird to try and force yourself to say something if its not natural.

Poledra Sun 31-Aug-08 23:01:36

Just a thought, greenandpleasant - how are you on singing? I sing a lot to my dds, and that's words too grin. Doesn't need to be nursery rhymes either - my DH taught our girls a song about 'Charley Motts, the man who invented Beer!'

Twinklemegan Sun 31-Aug-08 23:04:36

We both talk to DS loads and we've always assumed that's the reason why he's so chatty and sociable with others. But reading this thread maybe the two things aren't related - who knows? Personally I can't imagine not including DS in all our conversations and talking to him about stuff we see and do. It's just the natural thing to do IMO. I think it's such a shame when I see mums and/or dads out with their LOs and apparently ignoring them completely. I'm not saying the OP is ignoring her DS but it can come over that way to others.

Cattymum Sun 31-Aug-08 23:12:44

I was quiet with DS and when he didnt develop language I blamed myself, but when referred to a consultant I was told that it is very rare for this to be the cause of language delay, she said it only happened in some cases of extreme post natal depression where mother didnt talk at all to child.

DS was eventually diagnosed with autism... but I suspected that cuz he didnt make good eye contact

bluewolf... maybe theres something in what you say... DS didnt seem to demand chat (although he is becoming quite chatty now!)

if you are reading to your child, and pointing out things then a bit of silence never hurt anyone

cyberseraphim Mon 01-Sep-08 11:47:53

DS1 is autistic, DS2 is not. I used to worry a lot about speaking enough to DS2 but actually as someone else said, DS2 has set the pace himself and engages to get the conversation. Also DS1 has picked up quite a bit too - and I am still on the quiet side myself. I am hopeless at running commentary too, I can't talk about cheese on toast for very long either.

AuntyVi Mon 01-Sep-08 14:47:28

I think it's all a matter of balance. I know I sometimes go off in my thoughts and don't talk to DS for ages... but other times I will chat to him lots, describe what I'm doing and so on. Would not worry if you are doing a bit of both, only if you are really hardly talking to him at all! What I sometimes do if I realise I was ignoring him for a while is I literally say to him "Sorry I was ignoring you just then, I was just thinking about something..." and then (if it's not something TOO inappropriate!) just describe whatever was going through my mind - e.g. "I was trying to think about the best way to get to baby group this morning, we usually walk there but it's very sunny and your pushchair sunshade is broken... we could go in the car instead but then you won't get much chance to sleep.." etcetera! It means I can still get my thinking done (out loud..) but involve him too. Don't think it all has to be baby stuff either, some kids like grown-up talk better! Also doing plenty of reading together helps I think.

greenandpleasant Mon 01-Sep-08 21:09:45

Oh AuntyVi, I do that too ... thank you everyone I am feeling so much better, I do talk to him, just not the running commentary that seems to come naturally to people. Also think that as soon as he has started talking just a little it will snowball from there.

spudballoo Mon 01-Sep-08 21:13:26

I'm like this too. I'm not a quiet person, but I'm an only child and I enjoy my own company, rarely have the TV or radio on. I didn't chatter to DS1 at all. I must admit he was slow to talk and I think, perhaps, my lack of chatter contributed. it's odd because in company I never shut up!

DS2 has been v quick to talk. I guess because he's surrounded by the chat of his older brother and me (I have to talk now DS1 talks to me!).

It just didn't come naturally to me to chat with a non verbal child!

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