Conversations with your child become more elaborate as he begins to construct sentences more correctly. He understands place words — such as
Just as when your child was learning his first words, speak to him as you would to an adult. There is no harm in using grown-up words to a small child; it will in fact expand his vocabulary. Continue reading to your child to build his vocabulary.
Sometimes it feels funny to be talking continuously to your two-year-old, but such running commentary really helps a child connect words to experience. “Okay, now I'm going to start dinner. I need to get the meat out of the refrigerator and start to boil the water,” you say as your son bangs on pots and pans on the floor. He looks up at you and some of the new words start to make more sense.
Encourage your child to ask questions, explaining that questions are a way to learn more and to find out answers. If you see that your child doesn't understand something you've said, ask, “Were you wondering what that word means?” Or, when you don't understand what he says, feel free to say, “I don't understand. Can you repeat that?”
Even the most articulate child stutters and lisps a bit. Some letter sounds, especially those pronounced with the lips together such as p's and s's, are difficult for a child to master (d and t sounds are the easiest). Thoughts are a challenge for a two-year-old to get out in speech as quickly as she thinks them. Lisping is particularly noticeable when a child uses a word with blended letters, such as
Don't worry, though. Pronouncing words clearly is not the norm until a child reaches the age of five. Stuttering and lisping by your two-year-old is developmentally appropriate — a natural stage of speech development, in other words. All you need to do is pronounce a misspoken word back to your daughter properly, in a natural manner. So if she says, “My bock tower is big!” you can reply, “Yes, your block tower is big.”
As excited as you are by your two-year-old's complete sentences, you may notice that “the doggie is brown” sounds more like “da doggie iz bwown.” To some extent this mispronunciation is a physical challenge, since as his tongue and mouth are still adjusting to working properly. To your child, the words he's speaking sound the same as yours, which is just fine. You needn't correct his pronunciation, since all that matters at this point is that he's constructing sentences and communicating by means of them. His speech will undoubtedly improve over the next year or two. The fact that you and the rest of your family are able to understand him is what's important.