5. Listen to little voices
Before they say a word, children learn from what is being said to them. When parents and caregivers respond to a baby’s cry, smile or coo, it helps their brains build social and communications skills. Babies then copy the sounds and actions of the people around them, building knowledge by connecting words together in webs of meaning.
Stanford University psychologists
found that toddlers with parents and caregivers who spoke to them were better at processing language at 18 months old and knew more words by the time they reached two years old.
Besides teaching words in isolation, parents and caregivers can also facilitate word learning by paying attention to a child’s interests and talking about things that have engaged them. As toddlers learn to talk, asking questions can help more than giving instructions. Positive talk from a caregiver can have a long-term impact: psychologists found
that a child who hears positive talk at two-years-old can better control their impulses when they’re six.
Islamic Relief Australia is partnering with UNICEF Australia this year to provide the best start to life for little ones across the Asia Pacific by providing critical early childhood education and nutrition programs.