Speech Therapy: Talking to Your Child at an Early Age
It is never too early to start talking to your child. All your child needs to survive is learnt under your tutelage first. It is important that you set aside a lot of time to just speak to your child. Use his or her name frequently in the course of the conversation to help the child identify the name as his or her own.
One way of teaching new words is to point out things that inhabit your child's world. Toys, food and drink, people's names, friends, are the easiest to teach. You can go a step further and teach your child the names of flowers, plants, trees, birds, and animals when you are out on your daily walk or at a picnic in the park.
Talk to your child as you would to anybody else and try to understand the responses even if they are just gestures; encourage all forms of communication. At the same time, you can also point out to things that are of interest and name each thing or person while making sure that you pronounce the words clearly. Children pick up fast and tend to mimic your pronunciation and the way you enunciate.
Include several questions in your conversations, allowing the child time to understand your question and respond either in words or through actions. Repeat your question several times till you get a response. Teaching your child action songs is another good way to get your child to start talking early. Songs that describe the parts of the body, numbers, animals, or the alphabet, suitably illustrated with actions go a long way in laying the foundation for your child to be more expressive.
Encourage your kid to ask questions and give your full attention while you respond. Even if the question is very simple, remember that your child is just a baby and is curious about everything. If you show impatience or do not give any importance to the questions, you will soon enough succeed in shutting your child up.
Your child will thrive in an atmosphere where everybody, both adults and children, speak to each other often. When talking to the child though use simple combination’s of words according to the level of understanding. Remember to always hold meaningful conversations with your child, be genuinely interested in what he or she has to say and respond like you normally would to an adult.
A child who is exposed to lots of conversations, laughter, stories, and songs, learns words that would normally be beyond reach. Children brought up in this kind of environment develop faster intellectually, learn to speak and listen effectively, thus honing their communication skills at an early age even before they enter school.
Parents play a large role in their child’s early education, speech and comprehension, and communication skills. It is up to you to provide a safe, secure, and loving home for your child to develop his or her skills.