There have been times when I talk to my son (who will be 4), I find myself stumbling over words in order to find the “right” word that he will understand. And then there are those times when he uses a word that I didn’t even know that he knew, let alone uses it in the proper format.
That is why I have determined that, as parents, we “must” speak to our children as we would normally speak in any circumstance. That means we should not “dumb down” our communication with kids. What we should do is explain a word or a phrase so that they can understand better and start to develop a proper vocabulary for themselves.
Have you ever been in a situation where you hear an older child speak or read and you wonder…”how can they not know that word or the pronunciation?” That is because their environment may have been “dumbed down” to accommodate for a child and once that child started to develop…it was never “smarted up”!
We all know that there are those times when a toddler just says the cutest thing and it’s not in proper English. Yes, that is okay but we don’t want to perpetuate “baby talk” or “half-stepping” when it comes to the English language. Today, our children are learning second languages and it is important that they learn how to speak their first language appropriately. Appearance and speaking ability are the first thing that people see and/or recognize upon first impression.
Also, parents should support learning, whether traditional or homeschooling, by encouraging our kids to be the best they can be.
Let’s get our children off to a great start!
Here is a list of additional references that deal with speaking and children:
1. Fun activities for promoting speaking skills– BabyCenter
2. Speech and Language-National Institute of Health
3. Understanding Cognitive and Social Development in Newborns-Discovery Health