As parents, we know that it is important to talk to babies and small children in order to support their language development. The mistake many of us make as parents, however, is that we can tend to bombard our children with too many words and speak way too fast.
Imagine your child's brain is a word processor. This isn't difficult to do. Just watch a child's eyes when you are talking to him or when he is observing his surroundings. You can just see his brain working away to process what is going on around him.
The best way to support language development is a child is to avoid overloading his processor by following these suggestions:
1. In babies or older non-verbal children, use just one or two words at a time, not full sentences,when you are speaking to him.
2. Use slow, exaggerated animation when speaking to your child.
3. As the child acquires more words and is verbalizing in one or two words, then begin to speak to your child in short phrases.
4. Add full sentences only once the child is beginning to form sentences in his own communication.
When we speak to a baby using lots of words, complicated songs and continual chatter, it doesn't allow the child time or the quiet space he needs to process. He will certainly learn to speak, but it may take him longer.
When we speak to our very small children, we should talk with him the way WE would want someone to talk to us if we were learning a foreign language...because he IS learning a language that is foreign to him.
Not only will your child gain language skills more quickly this way, but he will feel supported, connected and understood and his inner child spirit will be nurtured by the most important person in his life...YOU!