How You Talk To Your Child Might Make Them Smarter
Most would agree that using curse words or talking about something horrific in the news are things to avoid discussing with a child. You could argue that there are things in life that might be too difficult to explain to a child, and better left for later on in life. You may want to start rethinking what you discuss and how you discuss things with your child. Science shows that how you converse with your child affects them later in life. Baby cooing versus talking to them as you would an adult can make all the difference in their cognitive function.
Want to get your children off to an excellent start in life? Talk to them the right way! Here’s why the way you talk to your children matters and can affect their intelligence.
Talk with your children, not at them
In a 2018 study published in the Psychological Science, Children’s Conversational Exposure Is Associated With Language-Related Brain Function, researchers set out to see how conversations early in life play a role in a child’s development. More specifically, they looked at their linguistic and cognitive development. The lead author of the study Rachel Romeo said, “What we found is that the sheer amount of language, the number of adult words, was not related to brain activation or verbal skills.” Romeo goes on to conclude that back-and-forth conversation between children and adults makes all the difference in their cognitive development. Talking at them is less effective, which is why you need to find a common subject they’ll understand to engage them in conversation.
Don’t read to your kids, read with them
Sure, you read to your toddler or preschooler every evening before bed, but do you know the proper way to do so? During shared reading, it is common for adults to read aloud while the child follows along. Research shows that while you are reading, children tend to focus on the pictures on the page versus the words. If you ponder this for a moment, reading to them this way becomes no different from them watching television. The Canadian Psychology Association published an interesting piece that explains why you need to treat shared reading time differently. Authors Linda M. Phillips, Stephen P. Norris, and Jim Anderson write, “It is essential for parents/caregivers actively to name letters, to make their sounds, to spell the child’s name, to name the shapes, to name numerals, and to teach their children songs and nursery rhymes.” Paying close attention to teaching them about the print in books prepares them for future reading ability.
How happy your child affects their intelligence. But keeping a child happy can vary. Kids are delighted when they get the toy they’ve been wanting or when you allow them a sweet treat. Show them what happiness is by being happy yourself. Set a good example and make your home a light-hearted environment and set goals. In addition to rewarding your children on their successes, reward their effort too. As spending time with your friends makes you happy, allow them to see their friends, participate in social groups, and teaching them what it means to be an optimistic person.
Do you know who else you need to learn to talk to correctly? Colleagues, people in your industry, and those you meet at networking events. Learn the correct way to do so with our online course, How To Talk To Anyone To Advance Your Career. This course will teach you how to improve your communication, networking & social skills so you can find the job you love and reduce anxiety around social situations. Click the link to learn more.