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Friday, 28 October 2011

Talk to Me


I was on facebook the other day and was reading someone's message about what she should teach her son who is 11 months old. I meant to reply but didn't have time but when I came back I couldn't find it (I'm new to facebook so I'm not too sure of all the functions). So I thought I would create a post here:

There was good advice to read to the young child.

Children should be read to at any age. Books to read to very young children are board books that have few words and a picture on each page. What parents are actually doing is giving labels or names to objects. For example, there might be a picture of a ball on one page with the word ball. So the parent 'reads' it and points to the picture. If it is a red ball then parents can say 'red ball'. There is an abundance of these books around. When you feel that your child has a longer attention span, this is when you can start reading slightly longer but still simple books.

The next advice I would give is to talk to the young child. This is how young children learn language.

When my children were babies I talked to them. I talked to them everywhere I went. At the shops I would tell them, "Today this is what mama is going to buy. Here are some milk. Yes I need about two cartons and there are the eggs...." and so on. It was a running commentary of what I'm doing, feeling or seeing (of course I did stop for breathe). It wasn't continuous but it was constant. Sometimes I would get funny looks from people but I didn't quite understood why. It was only when my children were older and there was no longer the need for me to give a running commentary that I realised why: I was at the shops and I heard this woman talking to herself and naturally I though who is that talking to herself, how strange to do such a thing. When I saw her clearly I noticed that she had a baby with her...oh yes, and people who didn't quite understood were giving her funny looks. :-)

Really it will seem as if you are talking to yourself but think of the benefits for your child. Both my children talked early, masha Allah, but that was not main benefit. They both had a good grasp of language and had a large vocabulary that included large words that they understood and used. This is all based on research.

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