As the parent of an only child my husband and I knew from the start that helping our child to be independent was very important. One thing that we did that helped this to happen was speaking to her in adult language from day one.
Children build their esteem based on what they can do. This is one of the reasons why they are always wanting to help. As one of my former students put it ” We do it weselves!”, as you can see she was very young and hadn’t mastered the English language yet. Some of us are much older than her, she was 2 at the time, and still have not mastered the language. Anyway one of the quickest ways that you can build an “I can do it” attitude is by reading and talking to your child. You can even do this in the womb you don’t have to wait until they come out. Babies can hear even in the womb. Reading to them in the womb gives them an advantage and a jump on learning the language and speaking it.
Only on rare ocassions and I mean very rare did we talk baby talk to her. She was so adorable, as all babies are so it was not easy. Every now and again we would slip up and say awwwwwmywittlecutiewootiepuddingpie smockatron, in that crazy high pitched voice we use as adults when we talk baby talk to kids. But 98 percent of the time we talked to her like she was a little person in adult language. She was so funny, I breast fed her and when you first start out you don’t know what the heck you are doing. I had my best girlfriend, her godmother, there for support and to coach me.
Well all that reading and talking to her we were doing in the womb, made her believe that once she got out in the real world she could really do this thing called talking. And not only could she talk, according to her, but she felt she could just give you a piece of her mind too! So while I am struggling with her to breast fed she got so frustrated that she started spitting out these sounds. Although you couldn’t underststand what she was saying, you could tell that she was not happy and was letting me know it.
So even in the womb we were speaking to her and before she was 2 she had a really extensive vocabulary and everyone would ask us how old she was and we would tell them and people would not believe us. She spoke so clearly and articulated herself so well that people thought she was so much older. A remember a time we were in the grocery store and I was telling her about what we were going to do after we finished shopping and asked her what she thought about that. So I talked and she waited until I finished and that she babbled some words and then I spoke and we were going back and forth. This lady behind me in the check out was so amazed. She said it’s lie she’s having a conversation with you. I said she is having a conversation with me. She is learning how to converse.