Your Child Can Say The Word, But Chooses Not To – Now What?

My husband and I played one of our more frequent games while driving in the car yesterday.  It goes something like this:  Let’s count how many words Logan can say … “no”, “mine”, “dinosaur”, “car”, “thank you”, and “ball”.  And about halfway through the game, I am struck by the realization that while he CAN say those words, he often chooses to NOT say those words.  As I was searching online for some insight into this, I found an article by Laura Mize on her site,, that shared some wonderful tips about how to encourage the use of words that your children already know.  While I am already trying to use her first trick (ahem … I mean, technique) of intentionally not doing something until the child asks for it, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about how presenting choices can encourage speaking as well.  When offering a toy to my son, instead of saying “Do you want the car?”, I can instead offer him “car” or “ball” and wait until he says the word before sharing the toy.

Author’s Note:  If you think it’s strange that my son can say “dinosaur”, but that the word “mama” is not on the list, join the club.  I have tried and tried and tried to add “mama” to his vocabulary with no such luck – apparently dinosaurs are WAY more interesting than mama.  Maybe that’s a topic for another day…


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