Researchers have found that young children who are more exposed to adult speech are more likely to develop better skills at acquiring knowledge, suggesting that having talkative parents may actually help boost a child’s intelligence.
Adult Speech and Children’s Intelligence
In a study that involved 107 children, researchers found that the number of words that children hear does not just help with their vocabulary and linguistic development. Exposing children to speech also appears to contribute to the development of their nonverbal abilities such as numerical understanding, shape awareness and reasoning.
Researchers used audio recorders to document the daily lives of the young participants over the course of three days, and found that the quantity of adult speech that the children hear has a direct association with their cognitive abilities.
Speech-language pathologists say that when a child grows up in a language-rich home, their environment helps shape the way they understand, view and use language. Adults, particularly, parents lead by example, and children tend to naturally develop the same use of language even at a young age.
High-quality adult speech, in particular, benefits children’s development. The observations in the study by researchers from the University of York showed that children who interacted with adults who used a diverse vocabulary tend to know a greater variety of words themselves.
How to Effectively Communicate With Young Children
The study suggests that talking with your children can help improve their cognitive skills and abilities, but this is not the only strategy. There are a number of different ways to support the development of a child’s communication skills.
When you play and interact with your children, see to it that you provide plenty of opportunities for them to convey their thoughts or feelings. This is an excellent way to encourage them to communicate. Having lots of patience helps, especially if you have a very young child who is still at a stage of learning to understand words and sentences.
Wait and give your child enough time to communicate and make sure you respond to their attempts to convey something to you. Your children get to learn language and communication skills if they have plenty of chance to practice these skills in daily interactions.
Let them ask you questions, comment on activities, express their feeling and comment on books that you read for or show them. You can initiate conversations by asking for their preferred toys, books and activities. Set an example by greeting others and teaching them to do the same.
It may also help to send them to a good preschool here in Salt Lake City where they are encouraged to interact with other children their age and are surrounded by adults who can help them with their development.
Read them books. Start reading to them regardless if they still do not understand the words as this gives them a head start in developing language skills.
A language-rich home may help boost your child’s intelligence. Take every opportunity to talk to your young kids and expose them to the wonderful world of language.