Parenting: Giving Your Child Words

I love words...

Languages facinate me. The more I learn how they intermingle, how one Greek or Latin word has grown into hundreds of variations in various languages, it fills me with wonder over the complexity of our minds. Our English language changes everyday. New words are formed and old words forgotten. I love perusing old dictionaries.

I got my love of words from my parents. We talked, we played word games, we read books. Everytime we moved, there were more boxes of books than anything else. I would always fear that some of my "friends" might be left behind. We read books together in the evening instead of watching TV. Words were a big part of our home.

Talking with your chidren teaches them words...of course! From the moment your baby is born, talk to him. Tell him about the weather when you go outside, about his toes when you bathe him, about the dog when it licks his face. Tell him the specific names of things; chickadee, maple tree, wool sweater, etc. Baby talk should be only used in the occasional times when you get silly and playful with your infant. Most of your words should be spoken clearly and intelligibly.

Encourage your child to talk to you. Ask them what they saw or what they did; "What did you learn in school today?" "What did you see down in the field?" Listen to them. Ask for details; "What color was the cat?" "How many motorcycles went by?" Let them imagine; "What if you could fit in your doll house?" "Tell me about your purple giraffe."

Read, read, read! Read to your child often, even as they get older. Don't be afraid of words that are beyond their vocabulary. That's how they learn. Sometimes, they may ask you the meanings. Sometimes that word will just get stored in their mind to be recognized the next time they hear it. They will learn how it is used by its context of the story. Read the Bible, so that it becomes home. Read biographies, so that they learn from great men and women. Read literature, so they can hear great writings. Read fantasy, so their imaginations can develop. Read, read, read!

Who knows? Your child may be another writer in the making! *smile*


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Vonnie. My family are all
readers. I remember my dad reading bedtime
stories. Sunny

Laury said...

I have our old Childcraft Encylopedias from when i was little. i still remember our favorite stories. i also have our old Bible storybook. I've always always loved books. Thanks for sharing, Vonnie.


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