Books, magazines, and talk show hosts all bombard parents with advice on how best to raise their children. But there is simply no substitute for a caring adult who spends quality time with a child.
Children pick up language skills and knowledge about the world around them during interesting conversations with responsible adults in their lives.
In daily life, parents can help by pointing out and reading printed words that appear in a child’s environment — signs on storefronts, labels on jars, and titles of television shows.
Even toddlers can share in making grocery lists and checking them off at the store as each item is found.
Above all, talk to your child whenever possible. There is no substitute for a focused, interactive conversation between children and trusted adults.
Parents can sing songs and tell stories whenever the opportunity arises. The rhythms and sounds of language fascinate children and lead to future learning.
That’s why children love nursery rhymes, though the actual words can seem to make little sense to adults.
It’s the sounds of the language and the word-play that children find so appealing, and it gets imbedded in their consciousness. In a very real sense, language is like music to a child’s ears.