A few of my co-workers are former teachers. Specifically, they were elementary school teachers, so I often seek their advice on how to teach my daughter certain things and be sure I’ve got her on the right track for when she starts pre-K or school.
One of them said something to me that has stuck with me and randomly pops into my head quite often. She said I should talk to my kid. Which seems pretty obvious – “Of course I talk to my kid!” She said I’d be surprised how many parents she met that didn’t actually talk with their kids and thus, it hindered their kids’ language and vocabulary development.
I’ve thought about this over and over. And like I said, it often pops up in my head – when I’m talking to my daughter, when I get frustrated with her, or just when I’m driving and lost in thought.
Do I really talk to my daughter?
It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday routines and minor details of our daily tasks, that we can easily forget to actually stop for a second and talk with our kids. And when your kid is a preschooler/toddler and her conversations primarily consist of imaginary friends, thought-up scenarios, or lots of “Why?” questions, it can be really easy to haphazardly listen, let alone talk back.
But, you know what I’ve found? When I actually engage myself in the conversation with her and keep calm, she has some truly wonderful ideas in that little head of hers. She’s an inspiring, creative, inquisitive, and imaginative child. All great qualities that I actually envy.
I don’t want to crush that! I don’t want her to think no one will listen. Or that she shouldn’t be curious and question. Especially since she’s a girl. I want to encourage her to think freely and if that also helps promote the development of her vocabulary, her language skills, and even her reading skills, then even better.
After all, I imagine that once she hits those preteen or teenage years, she won’t WANT to talk to me. I need to appreciate what I have while I still have it.
So, parents, talk to your children. And not in the “Don’t do that!” “Go clean up!” and “I said NO!” way. But, in the actually have a conversation with them way. You’d be amazed to hear what your child might actually have to say.
Join me, won’t you?