The way you communicate with your child makes a major difference in her development – emotionally, intellectually, and even physically.
Don’t wait until children talk to begin communicating. Start when they’re born – or before!
When you are sensitive and responsive in communicating, you help your child:
- Develop a sense of self.
- Learn how to express a range of emotions.
- Learn self-control and self-calming.
- Develop a healthy bond with you.
How to talk to babies and toddlers:
- Read to them and talk about the pictures.
- Sing simple songs to them – and with them.
- Use simple words and phrases they can mimic.
- Give a play-by-play of your activities, like when you prepare food.
- Make up stories featuring them as the main characters, especially when you’re out and about.
Tips for healthy communication between you and your child:
- Be available for her. As a parent, watch for times that she is talking more, like at the dinner table, after child care, or other times.
- Let him know you’re listening. Talk to him during the times he is most talkative. Show him that you care about his day and life by listening to his stories.
- Let her finish talking before you respond. If you don’t understand what she said, repeat what you heard.
- Respond in a way he will hear. When talking to him, use a soft voice. Children learn to tune you out when you yell.