One of the things that most parents always wait anxiously for is their baby’s first words. Babies that have no developmental issues eventually start to talk at some point. As a parent, however, you probably desire that your kid learns how to communicate soonest possible. As a parent, you can do several things to influence how fast the child’s speech will develop. Below is a practical guide on how to teach your kid to talk.
Use Sign Language from as Early as Six Months of Age
You should come up with easy signs that you can use with your baby for all the essential common words. During feeding, for example, you can use a simple sign each time you mention the word food. With time, the baby is likely going to master those signs, and possibly use them to communicate with you. It is okay if the baby modifies these signs, as long as you understand what he is trying to do. With time, the baby will be able to make a specific motion whenever he needs something, which you can understand.
Pronounce Words the Right Way
One mistake that many parents usually do is trying to talk like the baby. Talking like a baby makes it difficult for the baby to learn the proper sounds, mouth shapes, and intonations. As tempting as baby talk might be, you should always resist it if you want your baby to learn how to talk sooner. Speak all the words just as they should sound.
Be Assertive When Using the ‘No’ Word
You should always say no as a command whenever you are addressing the baby. You do not have to yell but make sure you say it assertively. Also, ensure that the child knows the specific thing that you want him to stop doing by adding a verb. If you want the baby to stop hitting, for example, say the words “No hitting!” assertively.
Keep Your Sentences Short and Clear
The ability of the child to comprehend long sentences may come with time, probably after you have heard her first words. For that reason, limit the number of words that you use in a sentence to a maximum of three. The fewer the number of words, the more encouraged the baby will be to repeat what you have said. When he starts repeating your sentences, you can gradually make the sentences a bit longer.
Get Rid of Distractions
When trying to talk to your baby, you should ensure that television and radio are switched off. This is because you will compete with the sound from other devices for your baby’s attention, and the baby will be unable to focus on whatever you are trying to teach. It is also recommended that your baby never gets any screen time until after the age of two years. This is because the screens can interfere with the baby’s language development, creativity, and concentration.
Follow Leads Given By Your Child
You should be able to tell when your baby has an extra interest in something. For example, if you are reading a book to him, and he shows a lot of interest in a certain picture, make sure you keep talking about it. Try to be repetitive as well.