A child starts to depend on their family from the moment they were born and this bond tends to grow stronger throughout the years. A happy family communicates with one another to share happiness and sorrow in order to remain as a team. As parents, you have to attend to all your infant’s needs, and before you know it, they are already old enough to add their input into family discussions! Every age is beautiful and challenging in its own way, and it’s the parents’ job to make the most of it.
Baby AZ Today believes that strong and happy relationships inside the family are the foundation of a child’s development, so we’d like to share some tips that will help parents to successfully communicate with their kid at any age, especially starting from babies and toddlers.
1-2 years old: Build an emotional connection with them and assist them in exploring the world.
This is a critical time in a child’s development since they are constantly learning and gaining new abilities. By the time they are 2, they can speak only approximately 50 words and rely on crying as their primary method of communication. Children at this age crave physical contact since it calms them down and facilitates their development. They need to develop their physical abilities through interaction with other people, playing games, and touching.
What Parents Should Do
Parents should talk to their children as much as possible and comment on their actions, so a child can improve their verbal skills. During this period of their life time, a child needs the undivided attention of their parents, so they can develop physically, emotionally, and socially. You should respond to the signals your child is sending you and be consistent with your response. This can help a child build a connection between their actions and the reactions of other people. You should try to stay calm, positive, and friendly because children can easily feel the mood of their parents and copy it. It’ll help the child feel safe and promote your emotional connection with them.
1 to 3 months
Your infant is communicating with you by cooing, making gurgling sounds and, of course, crying. They are also listening to you — they may smile, move their arms and legs, or coo when you speak to them a certain way.
- Talk, sing, coo, babble, and play peek-a-boo with your child.
- Narrate your activities. During baths, meals, or play, tell them what you’re doing and what they are looking at.
- Read to your baby and talk about the pictures you see.
- Celebrate, smile, and act excited when they make sounds and smiles.
- At around 2 months, babies start making vowel sounds (“ah-ah” or “oh-oh”). Mimic these sounds, and mix in some real words, too.
- When they make a sound, you should make the sound as well, and then wait for them to respond. This will teach them how to have a conversation.
At 4 to 7 months
They’ll start trying to copy sounds they hear. You’ll notice them exploring their own sounds and inflections. They may even raise or drop their voice as they try to express their feelings.
- Use the noises they make to encourage words. If they say “bah,” say “bottle” or “book.”
- Expand your conversations. When talking, speak slowly and start stressing certain words. For example, hold a ball and say, “Do you want a ball? This is your ball.” Then be silent to encourage them to respond.
- Introduce your baby to different objects. When they look at something, point it out and tell them what it is.
- Read to your child every day, especially colorful picture books and magazines. Name the pictures you see and praise your baby when they babble along with you as you read.
8 to 24 months
They’ll start to understand certain words (like “no”) and say some, too (like “mama” or “dada”). By the time they are a year old, they’ll also understand certain commands, like “Wave bye-bye.”
- Keep talking about what you and your baby are doing, looking at, or pointing to. If they point to a car and say “car,” say “Yes, that’s a red car.”
- Name just about every object your child comes in contact with — a toy, spoon, milk, etc. Also start pointing out body parts — point to their arm and say, “arm,” and point to yours and say, “Daddy’s (or Mommy’s) arm.
- Help your child express in words what they are feeling.
- Use positive statements to direct their behavior. Instead of saying “Don’t stand,” say “Time to sit.”
- When you need to stop your child from doing something, say a firm “no.” Don’t yell or give long explanations.
- Sing songs that have actions, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Have fun acting out the song with your child.
- Babies at this age love to imitate words they hear, so you might want to watch what you say, or you may hear it repeated.
3-5 years old: Encourage curiosity and allow them to discover new things about themselves
It’s natural for them to ask millions of questions about their surroundings. However, they are only beginning to discover how to connect with others vocally and may still be unsure of how they should engage with others. They may have a hard time focusing on the future and don’t plan ahead. The ability to focus solely on a single task for a lengthy period may be a challenge for them. In addition, it is common for children to misunderstand their feelings and not know how to handle them at this age. Children at 3-5 year old age may also confuse their emotions and not really know how to manage them.
What Parents Should Do
- Invest some time answering all of your child’s queries and listen to what they have to say. If you get distracted, the child will notice it and, for them, it may mean that while you’re present physically, you’ve abandoned them emotionally.
- When you ask your child’s opinion on something, give them a limited choice so they don’t have to come up with an answer on their own.
- Talk to your child and help them understand that it’s fine to feel different kinds of emotions and that anger or frustration don’t make you a bad person. But it’s important to differentiate these feelings and learn how to manage them.