[...] parents have a tremendous responsibility to promote optimal language development in their child right from the beginning of life. Anything and everything will be completely brand new to her, and as a result, anything and everything will be absolutely fascinating and enormously intriguing. [...] the easiest and most effective way to provide language lessons at this point in her life is to simply talk about whatever it is that she happens to be interested in and excited about at the moment.
Perspectives on Parenting By Michael K. Meyerhoff, EdD Language Learning in Infancy It is im- talk to a baby that hasn’t started ended up spending a small fortune possible to speaking yet? on things like the “Baby Einstein” over-em- series of videos. And recent re- phasize the importance of language The fact of the matter is that virtu- search seems to confirm what we learning during the first months and ally all parents talk to their babies have known all along. Children who years of life. As the primary method to a certain extent. However, it spend a lot of time watching and by which humans communicate, it takes a conscious and concerted listening to those videos during the serves as the foundation for ev- effort to keep up a steady stream early months and years actually ap- erything, from education to social- of chatter during those critical first pear to lag behind instead of move ization. And as the most effective months. While your infant may not ahead of their peers in language means of capturing and categoriz- display any apparent response to development. ing information and experience in what you are saying, maintaining a mental form, it also serves as the running commentary on everything Follow Your Child’s Lead foundation for all sorts of cognitive you are thinking and doing while Many parents who are determined processes. Consequently, parents in her presence will pay enormous to promote optimal language have a tremendous responsibility dividends in the long run. development decide to conduct to promote optimal language de- formal language lessons with their velopment in their child right from Don’t Rely on Language That Is little ones. They make up a list of the beginning of life. Not Real words they would like their child to When it comes to exposing their know, then sit down with the child Fortunately, this is not difficult to infant to a lot of language, many and painstakingly attempt to instill do. However, many parents fail to modern parents have decided to comprehension of those particular do as well as they could and should take advantage of a variety of words by repeating them and ex- not because they are unmotivated mechanical means for doing so. plaining them over and over again. or incapable, but merely because Today there are a host of television This, too, is a seemingly sensible they are unaware of easy and ef- programs, videocassettes, DVDs, strategy that does not work. fective strategies that are not nec- CDs, etc. that promise to provide a baby with a multitude of valuable Once your child starts to crawl and essarily obvious. There are some language lessons. However, the is capable of getting around on rather simple yet extremely im- evidence is clear that only “live” her own, there is nothing she will portant suggestions for parents to language—a real person talking di- prefer doing more than exploring keep in mind as they nurture their rectly to the child—has the capacity and investigating the world around little one’s language learning. to produce the desired results. her. Anything and everything will be completely brand new to her, and Talk a
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