Babies have milestones of development right from day they are born. The first walk and the first words are all signs of development in them. While some changes may be noticed without providing external help, some changes can be seen because of the aid parents provide. Knowingly or unknowingly, parents can be of assistance to their children. Here’s what they can do to help:
- Talk to the child: Talk to your child from the time s/he is born. Some parents carry this notion that speaking to a child is of no use because the child may not understand anything. But, a toddler picks up words only when he listens to the parents or other people talk to each other or to him. The sooner parents start talking to the child, the faster the child starts understanding and talking the language. Parents should always talk carefully and never use foul language in front of the child, because the baby can pick up foul language too. For older children, parents can bring out a current affairs topic for a discussion where the child can express his or her views. In this way, the child can form complex sentences on the spot.
- Read out to the child: Talking to the child in ‘baby language’ is not favorable for the development of the language in the child. Parents should take extra efforts in reading out some children’s stories or poetries. The language used in poetries and stories is literary English which is good for the language development in the child. Besides stories and poetries, you can also read out your ‘to do’ list aloud so that he listens to words like ‘supermarket’ and ‘vegetables’ which will make him familiar with the daily words.
- Play music and audio books: Don’t restrict yourself to stories from books. Buy CDs which have music for children. Make toddlers listen to nursery rhymes and songs and then sing along with them. While singing the nursery rhymes, do some actions which indicate the word in the rhyme. This is a great way to make the children understand what the song or the rhyme is all about. Getting hang of the rhyme and rhythm is a very good way to develop language among kids. For older kids, folk songs are a good way to build vocabulary.
- Walk and Talk: While going out for a daily walk with your child or while on a small weekend holiday with your family, introduce your child to new words like, names of flowers or trees. While going on walks to the same places, you can stop at the tree and ask your child to name the tree by giving him an incomplete sentence.
- Write: Language is not completely developed only by speaking, reading or listening. Writing is an important aspect too. A kindergarten child should be made to write small sentences daily. By 12-13 years, grammar in the language should be strong. Older children can write essays which can be checked by the parents for grammatical errors.