New York State family child care licensing: Home requirements
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The use of speech is one of the first indicators of a child’s normal growth and development. From babbling to the use of a full sentence, there is a normal trajectory of speech development in a child. As a parent, you are likely looking forward to the day when your child can verbalize their frustrations instead of just crying. While they are growing, it might be stressful to constantly monitor your child’s speech to ensure they are properly talking. There are a few things you can do to boost their speech development.
Children learn the majority of their language development from their parents and guardians. Their first language is the language spoken at home. The more you talk to them or around them, the more words they will hear and attempt to imitate. They will have a wider variety of sounds and tones that they can work to recreate, adding to their language repertoire. You can do this by simply talking about what you are doing as you do it with your child or telling them stories. Narrate what you are doing as you get them ready for the day, grocery shop, or cook dinner. Using everyday situations will help them put your words into context. Talk, and talk often!
Reading with your child goes hand-in-hand with talking, but its importance is often overlooked. Especially with today’s focus on screens and technology, reading can seem less exciting. But with reading, your child will be able to make the visual connection between the words they hear from talking and the words they see on the page. By reading, your child will have a wider range of vocabulary, be better able to recognize sounds and letters and have stronger listening skills. Once their language skills start to develop, allow them to point to and guess at words, even if it is just babbling. Allowing their brain to attempt to sound out words is a great indicator of speech development. You can boost your child’s language development by three to six months by regularly reading age-appropriate books aloud with your child.
When a child is learning to speak, they will make errors in guessing objects or attempting pronunciations. When this happens, imitate what they are saying in the same tone but with the right word or pronunciation. Interpret what they are saying if you can understand, and even expand on that concept so they learn more words. For example, if your child points to a car and says something that sounds like the word “car”, you can repeat the right word. You could even expand on the idea of cars if it is a truck or another vehicle where a different word would be more fitting. Imitating your child with the right pronunciation and providing more context to the word will help boost their speech development.
When your child is attempting to speak, encourage them and praise them for their efforts. You may not understand what they are saying, but praising them when they speak will encourage them to try more. Praise will further develop their speech. Children developing their language skills should never be criticized for making mistakes. Criticizing will create feelings of shame and fear around language development and cause them to shut down.
If you are a parent searching for caregiving services that will aid in the development of your child, consider Wonderschool. We believe that every child should have access to quality child care. We are a platform that provides information on a variety of child care services, from in-home services to preschools. Visit our website at https://corp.wonderschool.com to learn more.