A literacy expert has offered advice to parents on how to ensure their toddlers are speaking at the rate they should be, and some common mistakes to avoid.
Moira, a speech-language pathologist from a US-based literacy school, Rooted in Learning, warned against a string of common mistakes parents often make when chatting with their children between the ages of 12 and 24 months.
The mother-of-two explained that a parents’ instinct – such as using a baby voice themselves – can often hamper a child’s ability to ‘quickly learn a lot of words’ and offered her top three tips in the TikTok clip.
The video has quickly amassed over three million views, with many users saying they’re planning to try the advice on their own children.
First, Moira advised against saying: ‘say this, say that’.
Moira (pictured), a speech-language pathologist from a US-based literacy school, Rooted in Learning, offered advice to parents on how to raise talking toddlers
She explained that when telling a baby to say a certain word, such as ‘mama’, it dials up the pressure and ‘your child is much less likely to say a word when you’re demanding it of them.’
Moira added that when one says ‘say this word’ to a child, it’s out of context and devoid of meaning.
‘Children learn words better when they’re contextualized and meaningful to them’, she added.
Instead, parents should just aim to use the desired word a lot in daily language, rather than pressuring them to say repeat the word on demand.
Next, Moira warned: ‘Stop the baby talk.’
She defined baby talk as: ‘The purposeful misarticulation of sounds to sound like you’re a small child.’
The expert warned that it ‘actually hinders a child’s ability to learn age-appropriate words and sounds.
The mother-of-two explained that a parents’ natural instinct can often hinder a child’s ability to ‘quickly learn a lot of words’
The third piece of advice that Moira offered was: ‘Stop only repeating the single word your toddler says.’
When parents respond to a baby with the very word they said, the conversation ends, meaning the interaction is over without the child learning any new words.
Moira added: ‘Instead, when your toddler says a word, expand their verbalization into a full phrase with more meaningful words.’
The speech-language pathologist concluded: ‘Apply these three tips consistently and watch your toddler’s language explode.’
Viewers on TikTok shared their thoughts on Moria’s video. One said: ‘This works! I didn’t even know this and my 8-month-old says mama now. I would always name myself the entire day.’
Users on social media were quick to share their thoughts on Moira’s advice, and many were impressed
A second user added: ‘love this. we did this and my children come out with advanced words I had no idea they even knew.’
A third wrote: ‘Thank you for this! I definitely feel like my toddler is behind in speech and this is some things I unconsciously do with her.’
A fourth added: ‘I’m a daycare provider and this is soooo true.’
Another said: ‘These tips definitely worked for me!! Awesome practical information.’