It is widely known that talking to our children in their early years supports their growth. Now we know that how we do this makes a difference in their brain development. Teaching them vocabulary through “vocabulary sessions” in which we throw complex words at them- maybe with the use of flash cards – may not be the best way to approach it.
A good conversation is what helps them most, when we engage in interactive communication with them, taking conversational turns to exchange ideas. An MIT study shows that back-and forth conversation exchanges boosts the child’s brain development and language skills.
The key is to talk with your child, not to your child. Exchange ideas, engage them in conversation – no matter how simple or complex it is. It is an engaging conversation that will help their brains develop more, a conversation that involves listening to our children more and responding to their ideas and curious inquiries. The MIT study notes that regardless of the family’s socioeconomic and educational background, a conversational formation is beneficial to the children’s brain development. Not only that, but these interactions prepare them to build strong human relationships and comfortable social interaction.
The number of words a child learns helps to incorporate that vocabulary into conversation, but it is not as important as once thought for brain function, it is the number of conversational turns that matters most in brain development.
This brings us to encourage family time, family interaction and actual chats and conversations -without screens preferably.