Children understand language before they can actually say the words. Children learn to repeat what they hear before they understand what the words mean. Without input there is no output. Think of a computer. Before the computer is able to give you information, it needs to be programmed. Talking to your child is the programing.
Parents should be talking and reading to their children from the moment they are born. At first, the words are just sounds and don’t have any specific meaning. With repeated input, the words become paired with an object, person or action. Eventually the child begins to imitate part or all of the word. When children begin to imitate sounds, initially they are just getting some type of pleasure from how the word sounds and feels when they say it. The /bbbb/ or /mmmm/ feels good as the child presses his lips together. It is only after ‘mommy’ gets excited and repeats back ‘mama’ many times, does the child begin to link the word with the person. Children start by babbling, making sounds, and without input that connects meaning to the sounds, they do not become words or develop meaning, but remain babble.
It is very important that as parents, you are constantly talking to your child, providing him with input. I am concerned when I see bothers a child in a shopping cart and a silent Mom. Parents should be constantly talking to their children as they walk up and down the aisle. For example, the mom pushing the cart should make comments, such as: “These bananas are very yellow.” “I need to find some green bananas.” “Let’s count how many bananas. 1,2,3.”
If you have concerns about your child’s language development, contact Peggy@PeggyBud.com.