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Old 12-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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Teaching Mama

DS is 22 months and has a decent number of nouns and sound effects. But if you ask him where mama is, he will point to himself. I assume this is because when I was trying to teach him to say Mama I would point to myself. Instead of object identification he has just mimicked the movement. I've recently started trying to use photographs to teach him mama/mom/mother/whatever but if I ask him where mama is in a picture he will now point to himself.

He's not a natural learner. He doesn't pick things up by just hearing conversation or being read to. We have to actively teach him things. DH thinks this is the funniest thing ever and won't help at all. Although DH does constantly refer to me as Mama even in conversation. It's breaking my heart and making me insanely mad at DH. I've gone so far as to try to use food rewards to get him to correctly identify me in pictures. Please help. I'm out of ideas.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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Try pointing to him first saying his name, then you saying mama. Play "Where's x? There he is?" Pointing to him and "Where's mama? There she is!" Pointing to yourself.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: Teaching Mama

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Try pointing to him first saying his name, then you saying mama. Play "Where's x? There he is?" Pointing to him and "Where's mama? There she is!" Pointing to yourself.
exactly.. in the tarzan/jane method, you know?
you Jake, me Mama!

FWIW, I don't think it sounds particularly abnormal, really. DD didn't call me mama until 22 months and she has an extraordinary vocabulary now at just almost 27months.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Teaching Mama

I don't really know how to help, but when my son said Mama I said "That's me! I am Mama!" and I pointed to myself.

Whenever anyone says Dada, if he is around we point to him and did the same routine. Whenever anyone said anyone's name we pointed to them.

He gets it now and asks for people by name, but I think this helped clear up the confusion because when I was alone with him a lot (I stay at home and he is an only child) he was more confused by the pointing than when there were other people around and more names.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Place his hand on your face or chest and say "Mama", then place his hand on his own face or chest and say his name. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Teaching Mama



I don't think it sounds too strange for the age. My 21 mo old calls all animals a cat or a dog. I think the point is that they are communicating with you, period. Recognizing patterns in language, showing interest when you speak, responding to prompts(even if responding incorrectly ), and learning new words here and there... language development at this age is really important but it is also highly variable. Try to see the overall picture, and try not to get overly worried about one thing.

I agree with PP's suggestions to try to help your LO but don't worry too much unless there are other indications of a problem.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:04 PM   #7
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Re: Teaching Mama

He's actually been evaluated, because he stopped speaking for a few months and they said he was fine and that it was just a phase. Which it was. He started speaking again and at this point is pretty much on target. When he says "Mom" he actually points to himself. Poor guy. He's confused.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: Teaching Mama

I guess I'm just a little confused on the part where you say he's not a natural learner? What are some examples? I mean, at that age.. I don't know what you're expecting that he's having to be 'taught'?
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:04 PM   #9
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I guess I'm just a little confused on the part where you say he's not a natural learner? What are some examples? I mean, at that age.. I don't know what you're expecting that he's having to be 'taught'?
Some kids need a lot more repetition and examples before picking up a concept, as opposed to just picking it up from hearing it used by others. I thought that was what she meant
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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Some kids need a lot more repetition and examples before picking up a concept, as opposed to just picking it up from hearing it used by others. I thought that was what she meant
Yeah, but that wouldn't make him 'not a natural learner'. I don't learn best from reading in a book either. I learn best with hands-on or visual examples.

Just a different type of learner, but still in the realm of natural and normal.

That's why I was wondering about specific examples. As a FTM, I know I overanalyze everything DD does and doesn't do.
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