Mould your child’s brain the way you talk

NewsBharati    31-Mar-2018

Mumbai, March 31: We all know that talking to the child helps them develop. But a new study has revealed that it’s how you talk to your child that really matters for their brain growth. Spewing complex words at them, or showing flashcards in the hope of enriching their vocabulary won’t work, you have to do conversation with them.

“The important thing is not just to talk to your child, but to talk with your child. It’s not just about dumping language into your child’s brain, but to actually carry on a conversation with them, “says a study.

Today, there are countless educational apps and toys devoted to filling that word gap and expanding children’s vocabulary from day one. However, trying to inundate children with millions of words may be missing a crucial factor in development: human relationships, and social interaction.

The study says that while children from wealthier families were exposed to more language on average, children from poor but chatty families had language skills and brain activity similar to those wealthier children. This was an important finding that prompted researchers to encourage parents from all backgrounds to engage with their children - including interactive chatting with babies, for example by making sounds back and forth or copying faces.

The idea of learning through social engagement and emotional bonding chimes with other research on how infants learn the language. Babies tend to learn by watching and copying the adults they are most attached to, which is why singing and cuddling are much more effective than high-tech educational tools when it comes to development. Later, children learn most effectively through play, for example, imaginary role plays with friends or adults.