How often do you pick up the phone to talk to your best friend, husband or other significant person in your life? Chances are, quite often. Now it’s time to do that with your child.
Most parents are quite aware that reading is essential for their child, but few realize just how important it is to talk to their child as well. Studies show parents who speak to their child early and often have children with the greatest success by third grade. Your goal? 30,000 words. Does your child need to be able to say or understand them all? Nope! They simply need to be exposed.
This is where reading comes in so handy. I challenge you to open any of your children’s favorite books right … now. On the page you opened to, I can almost guarantee that there is a word on that page that you rarely use in every day conversation with your child. Authors automatically use a higher level of vocabulary in their writing, words that we typically don’t use in our every day vernacular. By reading a wide variety of books, we expose our children to a multitude of these new words.
Need some help reaching this new goal? Think out loud … a LOT! If your child swipes an avocado while you’re browsing in the produce at the local grocer, it’s easy to simply snatch it from them and throw it back in the pile. Look for such opportunities to talk to your child about new subjects, such as an avocado. Rather than throwing it back in the pile, tell them about it! “OH! That’s an avocado, it’s green and has a small seed in the middle. It tastes scrumptious with salt, and sliced up with a tomato and cottage cheese. You can make guacamole with it, or smear it on your face for a cleansing and nourishing facial mask.” You get the idea!
Be continually cognizant of the words you use, intentionally substituting more colorful words in where you can. READ to your child, and talk to them often about what you see, or more importantly, what they see.