Tricks to Get Your Toddler to Talk on the Phone

talking to a toddler on the phoneWhenever I’m traveling and missing my kids, I always reach for the phone, incredibly excited to hear their little voices. They are just as excited to talk on the telephone, like big kids, and very quickly the amazing build-up of love collapses in a series of unintelligible squeals and “What???”

So I've come up with some rules, tips, or resignations so the next time you talk to your toddler on the phone, things won’t be so awkward. On both ends. You know you don't sound so cool either saying, "Are you there?" over and over.

Here’s how to talk to your toddler on the phone.


1) Don’t forget what time it is

You may be on different coasts, but you still need to be mindful of the all important toddler time. If you’re calling during dinner, right before dinner, or otherwise interrupting the food portion of the day, prepare to be disappointed. Toddlers love their food and don't want to be taken away from a nugget, if at all possible.

2) Ask specific questions in the present

Instead of saying, "How are you?" try, "How is that nugget you're eating?" Or even better, "Did you remind your father to take out the trash?" Then they have something to focus on that's happening right at that moment. That's where toddlers live -- in the moment. They can't remember what Grandma said to them at pre-school drop-off, no matter how much you wish they could be your little spies.

3) If all else fails, go to video

Skype, Facetime, whatever technology you have available that allows you to look at your adorable toddler's face while trying to talk to her is going to go much better than the phone. Even if he just sits there and grins, it will be far more satisfying than hanging on the other end of the phone, wondering if your kid just dropped the phone in the toilet.

How do you have a successful phone conversation with your toddler?


Image via linh ngan/Flickr

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