Saturday, April 17, 2010

Slummy Mummy

My two year old daughter (nearly 2 1/2), Sydney (aka Miss Priss aka Miss-Chievous)... seems to be having issues.  Or maybe she is just giving me and her dad-o issues.

The child has a pretty great vocab for her age.  She knows:
1) her colors ("puw-pal" is her fave)
2) her body parts (even tricky ones like elbow and hip)
3) Her name ("S-ninny"), her bubba's name (she says "OOOO-weee") and of course the requisite Mommy and Daddy
4) Animals and animal sounds (dog, cat, barnyard animals like chicken, pig and cow and zoo animals like lion an monkey...heck, she even says "SNAP!" for alligator)
5) Food and drink (especially chocolate milk and cookies... but also banana and apple and good stuff)
6) Basics like up, down, yes, no, please, thank you, hello, goodbye and goodnight
7) Everyday things (park, bike, walk, home, bath, baby, diaper, bed, sleep, kiss, high five, flower, swim)

The child has words.  It's not like she doesn't have words.

Yet when she is sad or mad or wants/needs something...she screams.  She cries.  She wails.  She whines.  She doesn't say "Mommy, I'm hungry.  May I please have a banana?"  Okay, she's 2.  She's not going to say that.  But she is perfectly capable of saying "Banana please" or "want banana."  But noooo.  She breaks into tears and collapses into hysterics at the drop of a hat for no apperant reason whatsoever.  

I do my best to calmly say "Sydney, use your words."  Or help her by saying "Sydney, say 'Mommy, I want' and then tell me what."  I get tired of playing the game "banana?  your brother hit you?  You want to go outside?  You're cold?" until after 20+ questions I figure out what the deal is.

Any suggestions for coaxing my daughter into being a better communicator?  Am I a slummy mummy?  Too impatient?  Demanding too much from a toddler? Perhaps she mostly lets her big bro talk for her?


Debby said...

I definitely wouldn't play the guessing game with her. Tell her that she needs to use her words (like you already are) and if she continues to fuss, just reiterate "When you can use your words to tell me what you want/need etc. then I'll be ready to listen" and then walk away or turn around and continue what you were doing. I'm a speech pathologist :-) I know these things, haha. But really she screams to get her way because she knows she can. You will talk for her or Owen will so she doesn't feel like she has to. You have to consistently MAKE her speak, for anything, not just when she's screaming, but if Owen talks for her, turn to her and ask HER to tell you whatever it is.

Erin said...

Debby, thanks for the advice! I am going to do my best not to talk for her. It just requires a lot of patience on my part :)

Erin Clark said...

I think it's a 2 year old thing, because Kayla does the exact same thing. I pretty much tell Kayla that I'm not going to talk to her until she stops crying and asks me for whatever it is that she wants. Sometimes it's harder than other times to do this, but consistency is key! I tell Kayla that she needs to use her big girl words and ask nicely. We're making a little progress. Don't give into her antics either wise she gets the reaction she's striving for.

Erin said...

Erin, you are right must be a 2 year old thing. Maybe a girl thing too. We learn to manipulate so young :)