Monday, March 10, 2014

Purposeful Parenting: Communicating Verbally with Your Young Child(ren)

photo credit
I read a lot of books and articles while I was pregnant and after Bug was born. I really could not read enough. I didn't grow up surrounded by babies. I was the youngest child in my immediate family. In my extended family, I only had a few cousins younger than me, and we were fairly close in age. I baby-sat off and on, but never for children younger than three years of age.

In short, I felt over my head when I knew I would be having a baby in my life.

In all of my reading, I read something that really stuck out to me. One thing I never thought of was how to speak to my child. I figured you just spoke to him or her like a normal human being! Probably with a higher-pitched voice since most people tend to default to that - I do with my cat and with Bug at times.

But What to Expect the First Year actually had great advice on words to use when communicating with your young child in terms of pronouns.

Basically, your child won't be able to grasp, "I love you." But "Mama loves Bug?" That, your child can understand. He or she probably can't understand anything when they're a day old, but as the child grows, it's useful and practical to use peoples' names in lieu of pronouns.

I was talking to a fellow mama about this, and she agreed that her son had trouble with pronouns, too. When he was hungry, he would say, "You hungry!" This makes perfect sense since we often say, "you," when talking to our children. "I love you." "You need to clean your room." "You are going outside."

This child thought he was You! And technically, he was.

Don't get me wrong - I don't know how many times in the day I call Bug "you." But whenever I do, I just correct myself and move on. "I love you" becomes "Mama loves Bug."

Regardless of how you choose to speak to your children, be rest assured that in time, they will be able to grasp pronouns and that "you," "me" and "I" refers to more people than those you've specifically used those pronouns for. But in the meantime, it may be helpful to them to use peoples' names instead of pronouns.

No comments: