Tempt them to communicate: Do the unexpected

Tempt them to communicate: Do the unexpected
If you were looking for permission to be really silly - here it is. Doing the unexpected is a wonderful way to spark your child's interest, get their attention and TEMPT them to communicate with you. It's really easy to do and it's going to greater lots of joy, giggles and, all importantly, increase the intentional turn taking interactions you have with you little one. Turn taking with noises, giggles, eye contact and words at a young age, turn into turn taking conversation when they're older.

Be silly! Get on the floor with your little one and join in with whatever they're doing. Don't take over by taking a toy they have - just find your own toy that's similar or if there's lots of something (like lots of blocks) take a few. Play normally for a while - e.g. Stack the blocks, drive the cars, or pretend to feed the doll. Then do something completely different with the toy or switch it out. Stack another biscuit on the blocks and WAIT. Drive a car onto your head and WAIT. Make the doll sick up their food and WAIT.

Waiting is one of the most important tools to have in your parenting toolbox! Because we're such good communicators we tend to fill allll of the silence with words. But if you WAIT silently and expectantly (eye contact, smile, leaning in to show you're engaged) and WAAAAIT then your child will do something to communicate with you. For littlies it might be eye contact. Or a noise or giggle. Older children might try to communicate their confusion or that they find it funny - they could try and fix it for you. Talking children might use a word or two to say what's wrong. All of these are communication and they're great! And they probably wouldn't have happened if you had just played normally. The unexpected tempts us ALL to communicate. If I walked into a party with a pineapple on my head you'd notice and want to say something, right?!

So be silly. Be unexpected. At any point in your day (yes You COULD put their pjs on upside down on purpose). The more fun - the better. Tag a friend to try this with.

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