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Look Who's Talking! What Does it Really Mean?

Some babies talk earlier than others. Does this mean they are little geniuses? Doctors say no. The development of a child is usually due to his or her own individual nerve growth - not IQ. In other words, it is more a matter of motor skills, not intellect, that determine who talks, walks and learns to whine first.

The most important thing to know is that when your child begins talking, you can support the growth and improvement of this important skill.

  • Have a conversation with your child!
    Something as simple as conversation, on a regular basis, can improve a child's communication and your ability to understand. Repeating sounds and words is a great way to help your toddler learn pronunciation. Encourage his or her attempts and praise improvements.
  • No pushing, please!
    Some first-time parents get overly excited about their child's first words and can go a little overboard with their desire for their child to speak, form sentences, hold a conversation and read books! Too much of a good thing can drive children away from the very thing you want them to do - learn. Don't push your child. Instead, offer fun opportunities to learn that can naturally occur each day.
  • Figure out how your child likes to learn.
    Some kids learn best by experience, while some are more audible learners, and others are visual learners. Determine how your child likes to learn; then teach accordingly. It will help your child's comprehension.
  • Don't treat your child like a miniature adult!
    You shouldn't make the mistake of talking to your young children like they are little adults. That doesn't mean you can't use challenging words. It just means you should not talk to them like your equal. For most children, there is some security in knowing that someone else is in charge, and they are safe with that adult.
  • Read all about it!
    Last, but certainly not least, is the art of reading and storytelling. Children love it, but far too many parents neglect to do it. Instead, we allow our kids to sit comatose in front of the television listening to an electronic announcer. Live communication is a wonderful thing. Don't let your children's experiences be strictly artificial.