I think that actual saying is ‘cash flow is king’. But I think we can use it when we are talking with about babies and young children. Context is king. I will try to explain what I mean.
When we are learning to talk, and this applies to other developmental areas as well, such as gross and fine motor. If we don’t have the experiences we won’t be able to learn the skill.
We see in areas across Australia some places where the children are machines at gross motor development. They are climbing, running and jumping at a very early age, but perhaps they are not so keen on books because maybe they don’t have a lot of books in their environment.
Then we have areas where the kids are all over reading and books at an early age but are less adventurous with their gross motor.
Same with writing and using scissors. If we don’t have the safe scissors to practice with, we can’t easily learn to cut paper (not hair, never hair!).
With language development, if we want our children to use words, we do need to provide them with the opportunities to do so. Depending on their age, the way you do this is different.
For a child of about 18 months to two years with single words, you will need to start pausing…. give them a chance to say the word. I needed to count in my head sometimes as silence makes me nervous (jokes – but I still don’t like it much). Be mindful not to always be saying everything for them. If we wait and give them a chance to have a go then maybe they will. Have a go at waiting for about 5-10 seconds rather than jumping in.
Context also is the environment.
If we have lots of books we can go to so many different places. Learn new words.
If we want them to learn about food (flour, egg, and milk), verbs (break, mix, stir, pour, tip, and bake) then providing them with baking opportunities is the simple and easiest way to do this. Looking at my children it is also a great opportunity to learn words like messy, sticky, gross, wash, mouth, face…
Every home has a different context.
Which is why I feel that empowering parents to feel confident in supporting young children’s language development is the key. Learning language in the context of our home and our routines is critical.
I am going to be running a series of communication workshops.
I am talking about 3 different age groups.
Over 3 days.
Each workshop will be about half an hour, perhaps a little longer.
I am going to share 3 tweaks to your everyday that will build language in babies, toddlers and preschoolers.