Ding Ma said:
The baby does not need to be taught to use language, but the more he listens, the better he can learn to speak. Language is a kind of communication. You know, communication has already begun before the baby really learns to speak.
Communication Begins with Response to Baby
In the early days, newborns will attract others’ attention through vocalization and movement gestures to meet their own needs.
Parents’ positive response to the baby’s hints will help him understand what communication is all about. When he gives a hint-for example, a gesture of “hug me”-and gets the expected response, he will be encouraged and give more hints.
[Hint and Response] System is the basis of communication and language. Parents should attach importance to it and spend more energy to respond to the baby without worrying that their positive response will [spoil] the baby.
It is very important to talk to the baby.
Many mothers are especially fond of using short burst sounds when talking to their babies, and the tone gradually increases when it rises, decreases when it falls, and there are pauses between thinking. Although the mother is talking alone, she will act as if the baby is also participating in the dialogue.
In fact, video analysis of mother-child interaction shows that babies are also responding to the rhythm of their mother’s [dialogue], using body language instead of dialogue that cannot be expressed in words. These early responsive dialogues can shape the baby’s ability to listen, and like exercising other growth skills, regular practice can make the baby realize its maximum potential.
New parents often use a rich language form to talk to their baby. They raise the tone and speak slowly. When parents speak to their baby, their expressions brighten and their eyes are wide open, so that the baby’s attention can be easily attracted.
By exaggerating certain words or using facial expressions to convey the meaning, the baby does not need to judge whether there is something interesting to happen by words. For example, seeing a comfortable smile and the mother busy preparing to go out, the baby will understand that [going for a walk] refers to what.
For babies, the way parents talk is more important than what they say. Spend more time talking with children is the most important thing.
However, don’t say words that have no actual lexical meaning. What you say to children should be what you can say to adults. It may only be different in sound, but the content and vocabulary of the conversation are normal.
Skills for Talking to Babies
Step 1 Look into the baby’s eyes
Before speaking, attract the baby’s eyes, so that he can pay attention to you for a longer time and you are more likely to get a positive response from the baby.
Step 2 Imitate your baby’s voice
Don’t think that the baby can’t speak yet, and it seems that what won’t respond to chatting with him. But in fact, the baby will observe the speaker’s mouth and try to imitate the movements of the speaker’s tongue and lips.
Parents can encourage their baby to imitate them by making interesting sounds and using exaggerated words during the conversation. Imitating the baby’s voice can also encourage him to practice his articulation repeatedly and try to say new words.
When the baby starts to make some sounds, he can retell the words closest to the sounds he makes to the baby, instead of simply imitating the vague sounds he makes.
STEP 3 Call your baby by name
When the baby is only a few months old, if you call his name, he may not know it is himself, but hearing the name frequently will make the baby have pleasant associations.
This special voice means that someone is paying attention to himself for the baby.
Step 4 Use simple words
Use shorter sentences containing two to three words, each word containing one to two words, and emphasize vowels with long sounds, such as: [Hao (AO) Bao (AO) Bao (AO)].
5. Flexible Scenes
For example, wave your hand when you say “goodbye to grandma” to your baby. Babies are more likely to associate a word with dynamic gestures, which is why babies like gestures.
The same voice will gradually make the baby lose interest. If you speak in cadence, the baby will listen more attentively. Try adding some brilliant tone changes at the end of each sentence.
STEP 6 Make good use of questions
[Shao Shao Shao wants to eat milk? ] The way the question is spoken will naturally raise the tone at the end of the sentence and signal the baby to respond.
7. Talk about it
While you are doing daily care for your baby, such as dressing, bathing, changing diapers, etc., describe these actions you are doing to your baby.
Attention, fathers: This is very similar to the broadcast of sports events. You can say to the baby: [Now Dad has taken down the diaper. It was replaced by a new one. Well, the baby can sleep on the other side of the bed…]
At first, many parents will think it is a bit silly to do so (unless you are used to talking to yourself), but parents, you are not talking to a wall. The little person in front of you is opening his ears wide. His developing brain is processing every word he hears.
In pediatric diagnosis and treatment, I noticed that if the baby’s mother is talkative and good at listening, the baby will become a talkative child and an attentive listener when he grows up.
Step 8 Sing loudly
Researchers believe that singing can mobilize the language stored in the baby’s brain better than simple words.
Even if you are not a professional singer, you can still have a loyal audience who admires fame. No matter at any age, the baby has an insatiable love for familiar songs, whether it is songs created by his mother and father or familiar children’s songs.
Remember your baby’s top 10 favorite golden songs and sing them to your baby often. When familiar melodies appear repeatedly, your baby will feel excited.
9. Add Follow-Up
It is a very useful way to learn a language to add follow-up content after the words that the baby starts with.
Suppose the child points to the bird and says [niao], you can go on to say: [birds fly in the sky…] the words or thoughts that the child voluntarily speaks can become the content of entertaining education.
Insisting on Dialogue with Children
Studies have shown that [real-life] language, that is, the dialogue people blurt out, plays an important role in the development of babies. However, sentences on TV, tape or radio cannot achieve the same excellent learning effect.
This may be because babies need to see, or even smell and touch, the people they are talking to. Children can better understand these languages when the conversation involves the world around them or is spoken from a concerned population.
Then naturally, children with close relationships will become good language learners.
Therefore, as the child grows up, it is very important to insist on dialogue with him.
You can talk about people you know, things you see on your way out, school activities, other family members, or how you and your children feel. Discussing the TV programs you watch together (even advertisements), commenting on the new cars you see on the road, or talking about the aunt next door who is very sad about losing her dog recently, all help to broaden the children’s vision.
Adults make time to have sincere conversations with their children and listen to their views, which makes children feel special. Just like talking to your baby in infancy, remember to observe and respect your child’s responses, whether verbal or non-verbal.
It is very important to talk at the table.
In the survey, we noticed that many families with successful children attach great importance to the time on the dining table.
Both parents and children are looking forward to this communication time. Although some parents are very busy, it may not be possible for the whole family to eat together every day, but please arrange the opportunity for the whole family to eat together as much as possible.
However, don’t expect a child beyond his age. For example, a 3-year-old child is definitely not as patient and sedentary as a 10-year-old child.
In addition, don’t just talk about children. It is a good opportunity for children to be able to hear and participate in the conversation of adults. You can discuss current events, family chores, important affairs of mother and father, and what happened in school today. Even young children like to hear the voices of adults talking.
This article is authorized to be reproduced by the Sears Intimate Parenting Practice Manual, with deletions and modifications.