Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Talk More to Your Toddler to Improve Language Skills

In most households, working parents find it easier to turn on the TV for their toddler so that they can get about doing some other work while their child is watching TV. If this is a continual state of affairs, your child will grow up with poor language skills and even poorer communication skills.

The extent of your child’s vocabulary would probably turn out to be “No, I don’t know, Yes, Maybe, Guess” etc. because those would be the words he would get to hear more often from his parents, as parents generally tend to negate whatever their children asked, before saying yes.

Talking to your toddler is just as important as fulfilling his nutritional needs because communication is the backbone to making your child a future success in life . Communication brings people closer and makes the world smaller as opposed to non-communication that begets conflicts, disputes and wars.

From the time your baby is born, she listens to your voice and her ears are attuned to it at all times. She seeks warmth, security and comfort from your voice. The more you talk to your baby, the more your baby will assimilate your words and reproduce them when they respond. Talking to your child is very impactful in terms of developing her language skills as well forging a strong bond with her.

Although your toddler cannot speak your language, she certainly picks up a little of what the words mean. Very soon, she begins to understand everything you say before she can say the actual words on her own. The first word that a baby will obviously learn to say is ‘Ma’ or ‘Mummy’. Likewise, your baby understands what ‘no’ means very early in her life and very soon she will associate a sharp ‘no’ to indicate that she must stop whatever she was doing. Other simple phrases like ‘ta-ta’ or bye-bye or flying kiss, are understood because your action, like 'waving of your hand', precedes those words.

While talking to your toddler, there is no need to turn it into a 'lesson' session, rather talk to her casually while interacting with her or while you get about doing your work around the house. You can talk to your toddler while changing her diaper, by commenting about why you must change it OR while bathing her OR feeding her OR while playing with her. This constant chatter will encourage your toddler to respond and babble along with you and soon she will start lisping words in her own way.

Talking to your toddler sharpens her intellect and builds up her vocabulary. Gradually, introduce new words and language styles into your conversation. Toddlers are like sponges, absorbing everything that comes their way. They are quick learners and learn well through repetition. Backing up your actions with words will create a stronger impact on them. For example, saying “Here’s your big blue ball” while giving her the ball, will tell her that it is a ball, it is blue and it is big. Consistent description of movements, actions and things will impress upon your toddler better. For example, saying “Do you want to be picked up?” will make her understand better if you accompany your words with action.

While taking your toddler out to the park or anywhere else, talk to her about the surroundings, describe in detail, what other children are doing, and so on. Very soon, your toddler will be a non-stop chatterbox and you may begin to wish she would stop. Some wise man once rightly said, ‘When your baby is born, you cannot wait for him to start talking and walking. When he starts to do both, you tell him to shut up and stop running about”

1 comment:

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