I’ve been reading a book recently called Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind, MD. It focuses on three key ways in which parents can interact with their children to help their child’s brain development: tune in, talk more, and take turns (the “Three Ts”). The book goes into great detail about each of the Three Ts and provides much insight on what’s happening inside the heads of our littlest learners. It also provides tons of nuggets of advice for parents. Here’s one:
“Emergent talkers often have to search for words. It may take so long that a parent’s instinct may be to respond for the child. This may expose the child to more language, but it may also end the conversation.”
So, when talking with a young child, it’s important to allow extra time for a response to keep the conversation going. Then, you can expand on what he said to help build his vocabulary. Additionally, questions that begin with “how” or “why” allow for a much longer response than “what” questions or those that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
For more great tips, check out the book: http://encore.wclibrary.info/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1592026?lang=eng.