Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Go ahead and talk to me

I keep a few older videos of my son on my phone. I like to watch them and compare what he was like a few years ago to how he is today. One of the items that I notice right away is how he talks. Not necessarily how much he talks (although I notice that, too) but the way he pronounced his words. At the time I took the videos, I was completely used to the sound of his toddler talk. And I also knew how important it was to his language development.

But I didn't realize how important it was to his math development. A recent group of studies, however, indicates that a larger vocabulary leads to better math skills. The researchers believe the correlation is due to children being able to think more abstractly and better understand advanced concepts, like patterns and number sequences.

More words also equates to better social development. That same group of studies points out that children who know more words are better able to express their needs, emotions and are more fun for teachers to interact with. All of that one-on-one attention can lead to even more words and the cycle continues.

So, let your little one talk on. And that means you should talk to. Narrate your activities (yes, this will feel weird at first, but you'll get used to it). Read everything allowed - even if it is not a children's book. And broaden your own vocabulary, so that you avoid repeating the same words to your child over and over again.

Eventually, they will surprise you with how many words they know.

How did you broaden your child's vocabulary when they were a toddler? Leave your tips in the comments.

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