💬How can I help my child’s language skills?💬
1️⃣ Talk, talk, talk. Narrate the day as it evolves. Tell your child, for instance, “Now we’re going to take a bath. Can you feel the warm water on your belly? When we dry off, we’ll get dressed and take a walk.”
2️⃣ Read, read, read. It’s never too early to read to your baby. One good predictor of future reading success is the amount of time parents spend reading with their child. Parents can start with simple board books and graduate to picture books and longer stories as their child gets older. Story times at the local library or bookstore can also help a preschooler develop a love of books.
3️⃣ Enjoy music together. Young children love music and movement. When they listen to lively songs, like “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” they learn about the world around them and the rhythm of language.
4️⃣ Tell stories. Make up elaborate stories with characters, conflict, adventure, and a happy ending. Be sure that the stories fit your child’s interests and aren’t too scary for their liking.
5️⃣ Follow your child’s lead. If your little one seems interested in a particular picture in a book, keep talking about it. If she seems intrigued by a boat, show them more boats and talk about them, too. Repeat their babbles back to them, ask questions, and interact with them. You can even try recording your child on a tape recorder and playing it back.
6️⃣ Never criticize your child’s articulation or speech patterns. Instead, repeat their statements back to them with the correct pronunciation or word usage. Give your child lots of praise for their efforts.
7️⃣ Use television and computers sparingly. It is recommended that children younger than 2 years of age not watch television at all, and that children 2 and older view no more than two hours of quality programming a day. While some educational programs can be beneficial to kids, TV shows don’t interact with or respond to children, which are the two catalysts kids need to learn language. Computer games are interactive, but they aren’t responsive to a child’s ideas.
8️⃣ Treat ear infections thoroughly. If your pediatrician prescribes an antibiotic to treat an infection, make sure your child takes the correct dosage each day and uses it for the full prescribed time. When your child finishes the prescription, schedule a follow-up visit with your pediatrician to make sure the infection has cleared. Damage to the ear can cause severe language development issues.
9️⃣ Go on field trips. A trip to the zoo, the aquarium, or a children’s museum will open up a whole new world for your child. As an added bonus, they’ll want to learn the names of all those fascinating creatures and fun activities she experienced.