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Her son will speak to everyone but her?!

a friend of mine has a two year old son that refuses to use words to talk to her. The other day he pointed to his mouth, then pointed to the fridge, as a way to say "I'm hungry". When I babysit him, he has no problem saying "hungry!" or "snack please!" but with her and her hubby, he refuses to talk!

I suggested she not respond to him when he doesn't use words, but she said he winds up crying, throwing a tantrum, etc. She gets frustrated and sends him to his room, and they go round and round and she says she "makes no progress". I think she should stick to her guns and not give in unless he SAYS what he wants... and don't discipline him for being angry that his "sign language" isn't working. Just ignore him until he uses his words.

Any other suggestions?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:18 PM on Jan. 21, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • I also agree- especially with the not punihsing him, just not giving in. She should just act confused or say she can't hear or doesn't know what he wants to get him to use his words. When she tries to punish it just turns it into a power struggle and then he can feed off of her frustrations to get more worked up. At least you know he can talk. I am guessing at 16 he won't still be pointing to the car and mimicing turning a steering wheel to indicate he wants to borrower the car.

    Answer by MaryMW at 1:36 PM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • Your idea is a good one, he isn't talking to her because she understands him without doing it.

    Answer by older at 1:20 PM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • I agree with you. He doesn't talk because she lets him get away with it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:22 PM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • yeah..i son had a problem mumbling too..she could also try saying "i don't have to talk so i can hear you"..and not give in until he speaks.

    Answer by shay1130 at 1:30 PM on Jan. 21, 2010