6 talk-more tasks to try

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Baby Talk -

1. WAIT!

Young chil­dren take longer than adults to think about what they hear – up to 12 sec­onds after you have fin­ished speak­ing. So wait a lit­tle longer be­fore say­ing some­thing else in or­der to give your child time to re­spond.

2. BE FLEX­I­BLE

Young chil­dren eas­ily lose in­ter­est: it’s per­fectly nor­mal and not a sign that she’s not en­joy­ing your time to­gether. Fol­low her lead and do some­thing else in­stead.

3. CRE­ATE TALK­ING TIME

Make rou­tine tasks, such as nappy changes and get­ting dressed, into times where you fo­cus on talk­ing with your child. Hear­ing you talk about the same thing lots of times helps your child learn to talk more.

4. SHOW HER HOW IT’S DONE

Demon­strate what she should say rather than crit­i­cis­ing what she is say­ing. If, for ex­am­ple, your child says, ‘There tat’, you say, ‘Yes, it’s a cat’. She’ll learn faster if you do it this way rather than if you say, ‘It’s not ‘tat’, it’s ‘cat’.’

5. STICK TO YOUR FIRST LAN­GUAGE

Speak nat­u­rally to help your child’s de­vel­op­ing lan­guage skills. If English isn’t the lan­guage you nor­mally use at home, your child will find it eas­ier to learn it later after she’s got a good foun­da­tion in your home lan­guage.

6. EX­ER­CISE HER MOUTH

Get your child to fo­cus on her mouth in any way that works. Ac­tiv­i­ties such as eat­ing, brush­ing teeth and pulling faces en­cour­ages greater word de­vel­op­ment.

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