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How do I get a lazy 3 yr. old talking?

I watch 6 days a week, all day, a 3 yr old little boy. He is the baby of his family and his parents and older sister do everything for him and say everything for him. His vocabulary consists of 5 clear words, and the rest is babbling (na-na, da-na, etc). It is very annoying, and when I force him to talk he has the normal speech problems (r's and l's, etc) that all three yr olds have. How do I get his parents on the same page with his teaching to speak clear english and keep it enforced in my home? It is sooooooo frustrating and pure laziness on his and his parents part. Any suggestions?


Asked by midnightshadow2 at 1:22 PM on Sep. 28, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (206 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • ok i'm giving this girl some credit. she's not meaning lazy like a bum. yes kids can get lazy in their actions when not asked to do them themselves. i've had some issues with my SS and this same sort of thing. he is fully able to dress/undress himself, go to the potty alone, etc. when at his grandparents, they do EVERYTHING for him. therefore, he will do things like when i ask him to put his shirt on, he wil just roll his hand around in it, hoping if he takes long enough someone will do it for him. those are lazy actions. doesnt mean he's a bad kid or doing bad things, he just needs direction. i say continue to have him speak to you. you may also just simply try doing it while his parents are there. or say o so and so was such a chatterbox today we talked about blah blah blah.....since DH and I have been married SS is speaking more clearly (tho we have a long way to go) and doing more for himself. Cont...

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 6:13 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • I'd let the parents know of the issues you are noticing and ask if they plan on getting him some speech therapy or in counseling b/c this isn't normal. I blame the parents they are lazy and idiotic, that poor boy he only knows what's been taught to him, I'd read to him and work with words while he was in my care.

    Answer by MommaRox4683 at 1:26 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • Um, a 3 year old who can't talk is not lazy. That boy has problems that NEED to be addressed.
    Even if his parents talked for him, he would pick up on words he hears and talk if he could.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 1:27 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • It's not his fault. It's just what he's been taught is acceptable. That being said, just work with him, by having him tell you the names of things as you get them out to play with them. Say it and have him repeat it back to you. Do this as many times necessary. When you have lunch or snacks, tell him what you are eating and ask him to repeat it back. If it is unclear, have him do it until it is clear enough for what his abilities are at this stage. Tell his parents that you have noticed that his speech/vocabulary is limited to say the least and tell them what you are doing to work with him. Also let them know he could need help in the speech department if things don't improve. Ask them if they would be willing to work with him in the same way so that it will be reinforced. If they do, great. If they blow you off, hey, at least you care how this little one is learning right?

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 1:32 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • Don't worry about what the parents are doing. I did home child care for years and it was my experience that kids can get used to doing things your way when you are caring for them. You sound tyrannical in you language - force, enforced.

    Give the kid a break. He is only 3 and a boy. What you are describing is not all that unusual. Instead of forcing, encourage. If you think his language is abnormal then suggest he be evaluated.

    Remember he is not your child. It is your job to put up with him the way he is and to provide quality care. If he annoys you so much then don't take care on him.

    Answer by Gailll at 1:33 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • wow you should really talk to the parents because if your doing it and their not your not going to get anywhere. My daughter had speech therapy and it really helped reading to him will help to. Ex if he wants something in one hand you have a banana and in the other an apple say apple banana and tell him he has to tell you even if he says baa or aaaa

    Answer by Kimmma at 1:42 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • Wow! When you tell his parents that he is lazy watch out! I hope this isn't how you treat the child! They are sensitive and trust everyone. Children develop at different paces. Unless you are a trained therapist or children's doctor such harsh judgments cannot be made. Perhaps you should recommend a different form of childcare such as a preschool or trained learning center.

    Answer by h3art2h0m3 at 1:50 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • I am looking for a solution to help because I care, not because I don't. The question I am asking is not about whether or not he's lazy, or my opinion that I think he is (you don't know him, and you don't work with him every day). Yes, he is a product of his environment, and I say he is lazy because when he is asked to speak, he does it at a normal 3 yr old level. I do not force, he just knows that babbling is not tolerated here, and I help him to pronounce correctly and work with him and read to him and do flash cards, and color, and play in a learning environment. I was asked to do this by his parents, they recognize there is a problem, but do nothing to correct it. They agree they made the mistake but are not dedicated to taking the time to correct this error. It's all on me as stated by them and I do not want to see this poor little boy not get into school in 2 yrs and feel a failure his whole life.

    Answer by midnightshadow2 at 2:15 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • First, you need to stop calling him a LAZY 3 year old. He is NOT lazy. Second, just keep talking to him normally, don't respond to babbling or whining. Tell him to use his words. There really isn't much you can do to FORCE his parents to change their ways. You really need to not worrying about his future, it isn't yours to worry about, it is his parents. He will get into school regardless of if he can talk correctly or not. The school WILL make his parents do something about it. You also do NOT have to carry the burden of fixing this childs problems from his parents, it is theirs. Let them deal with it. You do what you normally do at home, as you do with your own kids.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 3:57 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • I just hope that you arent too hard on him. just keep it casual, and he will respond. good luck!

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 6:13 PM on Sep. 28, 2009