Achieving Communication Skills, BUT…

Every parent, especially mom knows about his or her children’s milestones. If parents asked some questions related to their kids’ milestones, I am pretty sure that most of them will remember exactly when their children began to crawl the first time, then leveled up their skills: walking, then another milestone and another milestones. Milestones over milestones in children are interesting things to observe. I do have two baby books to record my kid’s milestones. Even though I do not fill them every day, but such books help me a lot remember my daughter’s milestones.

My daughter, who is now 4 years old and 3 months old, is having a great communication skill, I’d say. And there are things that I think have a great impact on her communication skills or speech development.

My daughter spoke her first clear words at the age of 11 months, and I remember exactly some of the first words she said clearly the first time were ‘Keluar’ (get out or exit), ‘Makan buah’ (eating fruit), and ‘Suka buah’ (love fruit). By the age of 12 months, she reached another milestone in speech development, and that was adding ‘subject’ before her sentence, so instead of saying ‘ suka buah’ (love fruit), she added ‘Aku suka buah’, ( I love fruit) or ‘Bunda mau buah’ (Mommy wants fruit).

When my daughter was 9 months old, I bumped into some news about ‘Babyzeichensprache’ literally translated as ‘Baby sign language’. Baby sign language is a language introduced to babies who can’t produce words clearly yet. So instead of using words, babies are introduced to use their hands and fingers to say what they really want to say.

Baby sign language helps parents understand their babies better. If you are parents, you should know how frustrating it can be to understand your crying babies.You get clueless of what your babies need ,and you end up saying ‘ I do not understand what you are saying! what do you want??’, and of course your babies who can’t produce words yes would respond in louder cry!- so yes having experienced that, I decided to join in with my baby. And the results were amazing! We could understand each other early on!. She managed to make some gestures  to say what she wanted to say.

I am not sure whether this Baby sign language did affect to her communication skills later on, but I guess it did. My daughter is 4 years and 3 months old now, and her communication skills and being multilingual (Bahasa Indonesia, German, English, a bit of Arabic and Javanese) are amazing!

When she was younger around 13 months to 2,5 years old, the W questions she often asked was ‘WARUM’ (why), and ‘WAS’ (what). I honestly thought that at that time, she did not really need to understand the answer to the question WARUM. The question just came up like that! and she kept on asking. It was probably she liked the respond she got when she asked that, you know like people playing a tennis ball where the ball keeps on rolling. Sometimes I got stuck  to what to say when she kept on asking me WARUM.

Now, she is 4 years old, and a few months old, she still likes to use that WARUM, BUT yes BUT, she is upgrading her communication skills by trying to debate using BUT, then she goes on with her own opinions. This young person is trying to state her mind, speak up her mind! My daughter is a strong-willed kid, she is not the kind of kid, who is easily saying ‘OK’ or text-book baby I’d say.I read that children who are  prone to arguing often grow up to be great leaders. This BUT-skill thing can be challenging, and it should be treated wisely especially of course on the parents’ side. I get frustrated sometimes, for example when this situation happens :

My daughter (N), and I (B)

B: N, it’s bed time now! Let’s brush teeth!

N: But, Mommy, I have not played that  much yet.

B: Yes you did, in the kindergarten, and after kindergarten with me.

N: But, I wanted to play puzzles, I have not played any yet.

B: You can do it tomorrow. It’s late now, you need to go to kindergarten tomorrow, and you need to sleep

And  guess what? yes you are right! another BUTs, …

If this happens, I try to cooperate with her so long as my goal is achieved! Cooperating here does not mean I follow what she wants that is to stay up late and continue playing, BUT ( did I just say BUT??) to make her realize that I know what she still needs, so here is how I fix the ‘problem’:

B: N, it’s bed time now! Let’s brush teeth!

N: But, Mommy, I have not played that  much yet.

B: Yes you did, in the kindergarten, and after kindergarten with me.

So, I tried to summarize what she has done for the day and I said :


‘Yes you did, in the kindergarten, and after kindergarten with me.Ynd your teacher said that you played a lot with M, your best friend. I heard that you also drew a nice drawing today. Soon, there will be a festival, and your teacher also said you did a great job decorating your latern for the festival. So why don’t we brush teeth now, so you won’t be too tired tomorrow for kindergarten and you can craft again?’

Sometimes this way works, but sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t and continue like this conversation below, I suggest her something…

N: But, I wanted to play puzzles, I have not played any yet.


B: Hmm why don’t you pick one puzzle you want to do, and put it on the table. We can do it together tomorrow after kindergarten.

AAAAND Voila!! this way often works! and she is often excited picking up her puzzle for the next day.

YOu see, this BUT thing is a challenge for both sides: Parents, and kids. Kids are challenged to win, by using BUTs constantly, and parents are challenged to achieve their goals without arguing too much.

I am learning as well as a mommy.We need to think that this BUT can be a gap between parents and kids, but it can be also a bridge to understand your kid. Are we achieving our ‘milestones’ yet as parents?

Featured Image is taken from here

3 responses to “Achieving Communication Skills, BUT…

  1. Another tip I learned from toddler school, we need to empathize, such as “I understand you’re having fun playing puzzles, but it’s to brush teeth”. We acknowledge the feeling without giving in 😊

  2. Pingback: Makmurnya Ibu (orang tua) dan anak(anak2) Di Jerman | The Pearl of Java·

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