Dads, talk to your kids

We are always trying to improve our daughter’s language skills and thinking skills.

While we are not one of the militant parents who insist on no “baby talk,” we do try to talk to our daughter in a more natural way, with, of course, a much simpler vocabulary. It is fascinating to see the work pay off, such as when our daughter uses a new word in the correct (or, sometimes, almost correct) way.

Lately, she’s been really into rhyming. I say it is because we borrowed Hop On Pop from the library. It isn’t like we initiate it, either, which makes it all the more fascinating. She’ll just be sitting there and start rattling off words which rhyme.

Another recent development is her singing along with songs. It is amazing to watch her when we sing her songs – you can definitely tell she is thinking about the words, and attempting to remember them. The ones we’ve sung for a while, she sings along to. Although, she still has a tendancy to do what we all do when we kinda know the lyrics. For example, when we sing I Will, by the Beatles, she’ll sing along, then get to a part she’s not quite sure off, and it come out something like, “na na na na saw you…”

And I’ve already mentioned my attempt to teach her new concepts while reading The Lorax.

But, getting back to vocabulary. I read that there is some (still preliminary) research which shows that the words dads use with their kids may have a greater impact on the future vocabulary of their kids than that of the mother. Score one for dads!

Why? Because fathers tend to talk beyond nurturing words, unlike mothers.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t true of many families. And maybe I am oversimplifying the study. Who knows? I tend to skim articles rather than actually reading them, so it is possible.

The study was done with 2-year olds, which is of interest to me because, well, that’s the age of my daughter. The results at least make me feel good about attempting to expand my daughter’s vocabulary.

Now, if I can just get her to say, “Dad, wanna hold me?”, instead of “Dad, wanna hold you?”


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