Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to Teach a Child to Talk

How to Teach a Child to Talk
Image Credit – Public Domain Pictures – CCO Public Domain Image – via Pixabay

How to Teach a Child to Talk

Babies Love Attention

Babies love attention and they learn early that making noises gets them lots of it. They begin by making strange little noises and then soon they add consonant and vowel sounds. All children develop language skills at different rates. Some begin to babble earlier than others, but parents can encourage their babies to talk by naturally caring for their physical needs, listening to them, talking to them, reading to them, singing with them, and engaging in play activities.

Baby Babble

When your baby babbles, he is talking to you so respond to him. As your baby adds consonant and vowel sounds, he will enjoy making noises. Enjoy the “conversation.”  Listen to him and then when he pauses, take your turn to talk to him. After a while, your baby will notice that when he babbles and pauses, you talk back. He wants your attention so he will learn to babble and pause, waiting for you to take your turn. Before you know it, you and your baby are practicing the social art of conversation, even if neither of you know what he is saying.

Baby Health

Nourish your baby’s health. Make sure your baby eats healthy foods and gets enough sleep. A tired, hungry baby can only concentrate on eating and sleeping. Stay current with your baby’s pediatric check-ups. Healthier babies have healthier brains and healthier brains absorb more information about language. The more your baby learns about sounds and language, the more likely she is to use her knowledge to talk to you.

Read to Your Baby

Read to your baby. Studies show that reading to babies increases their IQ. Choose an age appropriate book. If you are introducing books to a young baby, pick out a picture book. Tell your baby a story that goes along with the pictures. Point to objects on the page and say the words. Eventually, your baby will attempt to repeat the words. As your baby grows, add books with words. Your baby will realize that words have meanings and represent objects. As you teach your baby to say words, you will be teaching him to read as well.

Play With Your Child

Play with your child. Engaging in playful activities with your child provides a naturally language-rich environment and presents opportunities for parents and children to communicate. Talk to your child while shaking and rattling toys, rolling cars on the floor, rocking a baby doll, pretending to bake a cake in your child’s play kitchen, just to name a few examples. Sing songs with your child. Engage in music and movement while emphasizing words to body parts such as the “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” song.

Additional Advice

Don’t worry. Babies develop at different rates. Some babies talk early while others wait a little longer to vocally express themselves.

While teaching your child to talk, take care not to expect too much too soon so your baby doesn’t become frustrated. Reading, natural conversations, and everyday nurturing will help your baby develop at his own pace. If you become concerned that your baby is truly delayed in his language development, talk to your baby’s doctor about ways to help him progress.

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