Narrate Your Day!

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Barbara Unell

With a grin on her face, my friend, Sara, once told me the following sarcastic comment that her mother, Martha, made after Sara’s daughter was born:

“You will spend the first two years of your child’s life teaching her to talk, and the rest of her life trying to get her to be quiet!”

Although many moms tell me that they wish that their children would be less talkative, as Martha did, I didn’t have this attitude about my children’s verbal skills. I loved listening to them learn how to use words to express themselves, from infancy on. Why? Doing so strengthened the bond between us and helped me understand my children as they were growing up. I continue to delight in our conversations, as my now adult children tell me daily all about their jobs, friends and feelings!

How did I impact my children’s ability to learn language when they were babies? One important way was simply by talking to them all day long, telling them what I was doing as I did it. For example, I said, “Now I’m going to wash your toes!” during bath time.  I told them that I was changing their diapers, as I did so, and explained that I was putting on their socks, as I slipped their little feet in them. This is how your baby will learn your daily routine and language skills, too.

Try these simple tips:

  • Say your baby’s name often…every time you play, read, feed or diaper her, for example.
  • Make the same sounds as your baby makes. This teaches your baby that people react when she make sounds, a powerful lesson for a baby to learn as she bonds with you and other caregivers, and learns that she can trust you and them to respond to her needs.
  • Even though your baby may not respond to what you say with words as you talk to her all day long, her language skills are growing just by her hearing the sounds of your voice, as well as the words you say.

Go to http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=893  to learn more about how you and your baby can strengthen your bond with each other through your narrating your day!

Blog written by Barbara Unell, Author

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