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how do you uderstand your two year old

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Asked by destany4417 at 5:37 PM on Dec. 15, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (12)
  • I have always understood my kids at that age because Im with them all day. Now my grandsonis 2 and its the same thing. The only time I dont is when they are trying new words or making up words which is always fun lol. You just have to talk to them often and listen and you should be able to pick up on the babble. Plus the more you talk to them the better of a vocabulary they will have and more confident they will be in using it.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:39 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • Thats a strange question. Because usually every mother understands every single "word" the baby/toddler says... Even though my daughter doesnt talk much yet, i know exactly what she is trying to say and what she wants. She wouldnt even need words to tell me what she wants to "say". :)

    Answer by m.robertson811 at 5:43 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • My husband asks me what my 10 month old daughter is trying to say or get across. I just understand her. Its that simple.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 5:59 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • Umm... every mother does not understand every word and the older the toddler, the worse it can be.
    When my daughter was a baby, it was easier since she had a limited amount of things she would ask for. I knew what she wanted by the number of sylablas in the word, which cupboard she was staring at, what toy she was playing with.
    As she gets older (she's 29 months now) and her vocabulary grows, it gets harder since her pronunciation is typical of a toddler - parts of words left off and some sounds replaced by ones she knows how to make.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 6:44 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • For example, one day recently we were driving home when she started saying "Mommy, I saw a tata" in a very excited voice. Now, I know the best way to teach her words is to reinforce what she said "Yes, sweetie, that was a very big truck and it's such a pretty green too" but what in the heck is a "tata"? How do I let her know that I saw it too and give her more words about it when I don't know what it is? Since I remembered where we were when she first told me about the "tata" and I wasn't in a hurry, I did a u-turn and went back. I told her that I hadn't seen it and would she point it out. Sitting at the same stoplight, she pointed and repeated it. I finally realized what she was saying - cactus. There is a cactus in one of her books. She remembered it and recognized another in real life. If I had not gone back, if I had not struggled to understand her, I wouldn't have.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 6:44 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • Everyday she learns at least a dozen new words. Most of them I do not even know she has learned. That is typical for this age. So how on earth am I to understand everything she says when she is using words I don't know that she knows and she has a vocabulary of well over a 1000 words? Trial and error, patience, asking her to show me, and sometimes telling her I'm sorry but I just don't understand and leaving it at that.
    And just so you know ,most kids don't master all of the sounds in the English language until 4. Some perfectly normal kids don't until 7. All of the developmental sources I've seen indicated that the primary care-giver will understand about 50% of a 24 months old words - not the playful babble, just the words. Non-primary-care-givers will understand far less. By 36 months, most of the conversation can be understood by anyone.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 6:44 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • Sorry for the typo... syllables. 


    Answer by kaycee14 at 6:45 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • I have never had any problems understanding my two-year-olds. Once my children begin talking, they are pretty easy to understand and even most of their mispronunciations are obvious (given the correct context clues) like: "I wanna take a baf with bubbles in it!"

    The odd thing is when you encounter older children (like five and up) where you cannot understand one word they say! It is not a hearing issue or a speech impediment (we have these in my family, I know!) just plain old-fashioned lazy-talk or baby-talk. They will pronounce their l's as w's and ignore r's altogether. The mothers "claim" their children speak normally and that they do not hear any difference..huh.


    Answer by catholicmamamia at 6:48 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • It's definitely difficult to understand toddlers when they speak. I believe the rule of thumb is you should be able to understand 50% of what they're saying at age 2. If you feel you really can't understand that much, I'd discuss it with your pediatrician.

    Answer by twinclubmom at 7:30 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • I spend a lot of time with her.
    When you spend time talking with your child, you usually know what they're trying to say. Furthermore- you've taught them their speech, and are teaching them how to enunciate.
    Sometimes I just don't have a clue what she's talking about, and if it's general babbling away to me, I just nod along and agree, but if she insists it's something important, I take cues from the rest of what she's telling me, and say "ohh!!! He did ___!!! Well, that's pretty neat, eh?"

    Answer by Liyoness at 8:44 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

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