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Stubborn Streak?
How do you deal with stubborn children? My grandaughter turned 2 in Nov. and hasn't started talking yet, she communicates well enough, holding her arms up to be picked up, pointing where she wants to go, and nodding her head or shaking it, but she refuses to speak or make any sound that could resemble a word. A few weeks ago my daughter and grandaughter walked my grandson to the bus-stop, on the way back the grandaughter was carried till the drive went up the hill at which point she was put down to walk the rest of the way. several times she turned and held her arms up to be picked up and carried and each time my daughter asked her to "Say 'up' and I'll pick you up". Each time the grandaughter promptly put her arms down turned and started walking again. Just a few days ago they were coming down stairs and the grandaughter turned, put her arms up and the daughter said "Say 'up' and I'll pick you up" the grandaughter turned, took her mothers hand and started down the steps. It is very clear that the grandaughter knows what we want, and she can make the sounds, she just refuses to put the sounds to what she wants. Part of the problem has been two older brothers who would gladly speak for her, but we finally got them to stop that. So now it is only her stubborn streak that is keeping her from talking, none of this is really surprising, just frustrating, as, in the words of my father, she's about as 'ornery as cat-shit'. Anyone have any ideas on how to get her to start talking? My daughter is trying to 'out stubborn' her but I'm trying to think of a way to make the grandaughter think it's her idea.
I like your approach, Warren.

Is there an animal around she could try to talk to? For instance a puppy who is upset and who needs to be calmed. Can anyone speak to him and tell him it's ok?
Or call him in from outdoors?

Or perhaps a game where you are blindfolded and she has to give you instructions --- but my estimation of two-year-olds may miss the mark a little.
Or perhaps singing? Happy birthday, silly songs, anything to get used to the rhythm and rhyme of language.
It's an excellent question... And perhaps, in the end, she will grow up to be a writer.

In response to Mia Vialti
Thankyou, but I've had dogs as pets and I really think I've had enough, I don't need the extra responsability.   I am the babysitter so my daughter and son-in-law can work.  I think the blindfold game would be good after she starts talking, to expand her vocabulary, but might be difficult to start with, and painful for me.  I have been trying songs just to get her to do the tune with the idea of adding the words later.  In one way I look forward to her talking, but if she followes the example of her brothers once she starts it will be nonstop, except when she sleeps, and I don't know if my ears can take it after the other two.   

Oh, we live in the woods, so there are a lot of wild animals arround but they don't sit still very long when you start talking to them. 
Not that I know anything about your granddaughter, but if it is stubbornness that's causing her to not speak, everybody needs to just back off.
When someone is stubborn, pushing them will accomplish nothing.  In fact it'll just make them more entrenched.  I should know.  I am stubborn and come from an entire line of stubborn knuckleheads.  We won't even listen if we don't feel you're essentially on our side. 
From the perspective of a stubborn knucklehead, the moment people push me to do something, it becomes harder for me to really know what I want to do, so the safest course of action is to dig in my heels until they lay off me long enough for me to make up my own mind.  And I will stash all of your arguments to mull over in my own good time.  I may come out agreeing with you and your recommended course of action, but as long as you push me, I may not be able to get to that place.

Perhaps she will talk, once her not talking is accepted.  Why not treat her as a non-talking person, since that's who she wants to be right now, and embark on a study of ASL?
There's a wonderful web-site where one can study it free - - and it's got short videos of everything.  At the least it'll give you all some communication tools that could even be useful in other settings.

A college friend of mine did not speak until she was five, and then she spoke in complete perfect sentences, using an extensive vocabulary, slightly ahead of her age group.  When I knew her, she was a circumspect talker, a trait I have always admired, since I am sometimes an indiscriminate chatterbox. 

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Latest Post: January 21, 2012 at 3:38 PM
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