I’ve always talked and chatted to my boy, ever since he was a tiny baby. Explaining what I was doing, what his brothers were doing and what his dad should be doing. knowing that children learn how to speak from hearing and seeing words and I’ve noticed that he understands so much more than he can say.
It’s quite an amazing thing to witness your toddler following instructions the first time and helps avoid some frustrations (notice I wrote some and not all!) it also reminds me on a daily basis to never to under-estimate what little ones are capable of.
As a teenager I spent some time with my cousin and her children who were 1 and 3 at the time. Living in a small town in Anglesey , they were being brought up bilingual, and at such a young age the pre schooler could speak many words in Welsh as well as English. She was also, rather cleverly, able to insult me in a language that I couldn’t understand. I was too impressed at the time to be cross that she knew that my Welsh was very limited and had no idea what she was saying!
I’ve followed the golden rules of early language development with my boy; giving him time to answer (those neurons take a while to process and work out a response) making sure we get lots of eye contact and chatting in a normal way, rather than baby talk. Explaining how things work, why I’m doing it, where we’re going and not ignoring his attempts to start a conversation. And it’s certainly paying off.
There are times when I really have to watch what I’m saying around him as he’s showing so many new words at an astounding rate. There is the tell-tale of a ‘sh’ on occasions when he drops something which I’m hoping won’t develop into what I think he’s trying to say! But there are also the moments he bless’ me when I sneeze, babbles “lub lu” and says hello to every passing person.
I’m sharing a photo of a long babbling conversation we had this week at the dinner table, the expressions and seriousness told me that he had something really important to tell me.
I’m loving these moments more than anything at the moment, especially as they make up for the lack of conversations else wear in the house!