Thursday, January 14, 2010

Toddler Talk

I would bet that a number of you with children or nieces, nephews or other little ones in your life, that you have experienced something to what I am about to share.

There have been a number of instances when Sarah, as she began talking well over a year ago, to say something and repeat it over and over and over again. If we were able to understand her then the conversation would proceed. In other instances, she would say a word, that to her sounded completely right but to an adult ear may be hard to comprehend or decipher, at least at first. For example, one of Sarah's first words was "balloon." She would say "boon." Certainly her vocabulary has since evolved with much communication and talking that we do with her that she now says "balloon" very clearly.

I have also come to realize that with Sarah that if I don't understand what it is she is saying she doesn't just say yes and we move on with it. This, of course, is the thought process going through her mind trying best to communicate and for us to comprehend. I am so impressed watching her vocabulary develop and helping her to foster it over time and that if we don't understand what she is saying she lets us know.

On a separate note, there have been a number of instances, considering that Sarah is about 33 inches tall, where we don't always see what it is that she is pointing to and where she is repeating a word or more incessantly. The first time this experience happened Sarah kept saying the word "ball." Daddy and I just didn't see a ball when she was saying this. We were convinced she was just babbling and trying out familiar words. After a while, low and behold, there it was, a ball wedged behind a chair that she was telling us about. It has happened much over the past couple of years and certainly again recently when we put a card on her door from Grammie and Papa that had a cupcake on it. One morning Sarah kept saying the word "cupcake" over and over again. Me not remembering about the card on her door it wasn't until I opened it from Sarah's point of view realizing she was telling me what she was seeing.

Before I became a parent, outside of time with nieces, nephews and friend's children, I sometimes thought that for language to develop children sometimes just talked to talk just to hear themselves and try new words they heard. As adults, how many of us, including myself, have talked to ourselves not expecting others to be part of our own conversation? That's what I thought Sarah was doing some of the time. She is constantly communicating trying to have conversations with us even if sometimes they are one or two word sentences.

Sarah is becoming a more vocal and able talker. I trust that she is indeed trying to tell me, and Daddy, something and not just saying words out loud to say them at this stage of toddler hood. When there are moments Sarah continues to say something repetitively I spend time trying to find the object it is that she is focusing on. When we find the object together communication is established and Sarah is extremely happy. I so love our two-way conversations and that Sarah's mind is indeed evolving and she's not just responding to respond or saying yes to say yes. She strums to her own tune and I admire her for that.

Keep on talking, and listening, and helping your children develop their language skills. Research shows that it's very important for parents to talk much with their children to encourage verbal language development.

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