The Parent's Role

Parents _role

It's important for parents to understand the critical role they play in their child's language development. A child develops much of his capacity for learning during his earliest years since this is the time when the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth.

When parents read, sing, or talk to their child, the child's brain is filled with words, sounds, and emotions that help make the brain cells grow stronger. This will have a lifelong effect on his ability to learn language and communicate with others. In fact, kids who don't develop basic literacy skills before kindergarten are three times more likely to drop out of school later in life.

Ways You Can Encourage Strong Language Skills:

  • Talk to your child. Research shows the more parents talk with their children, the larger vocabularies those children develop. So, use everyday moments - in the car, at the grocery store, during bath time - to talk to your child and teach him about the world around him.
  • Be a good listener. As your child begins to babble and say his first words, be sure to listen, make eye contact, and respond. This will help encourage him to continue!
  • Read together every day. Ask questions as you read and talk about the pictures. Help your child make connections, such as how the picture of a cat in a story looks like the neighbor's pet.
  • Use repetition as a learning technique. Read the same stories over and over again to create familiarity with the words and phrases.
  • Play with your child. Acting out storybooks, drawing pictures, listening to music, and singing songs are all great ways to stimulate language and literacy development.
  • Stay positive. If your child says a word incorrectly, simply repeat the word with the correct pronunciation. Offer encouragement and respond positively to your child's efforts, rather than focusing on mistakes.

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