Interaction is the key to early child development

Kim Doleatto
Herald Tribune
December 1, 2017

What do many parents misunderstand about early learning and reading?

Sometimes, as a parent you’re thinking, “they’ll learn at school.” But without parents, school isn’t enough. Especially when there are summers or reasons for absenteeism. Parents need to know the importance of keeping their kids in touch with words and ideas and keep them engaged. They’re little geniuses wired for learning.

What can parents do to get kids to read and build language skills?

All the kinds of things you do in talking to your child and pointing things out, those moments are so powerful in building language. It’s all about interaction.

Start from day one. Don’t think they don’t understand. They may not understand individual words, but they understand you’re talking to them, they know your tone. It doesn’t have to be formal.

Many parents don’t realize that even though their child isn’t talking, they’re absorbing and discerning and learning rhythm. Even in the womb baby hears the music of language. They know it. After they’re born, they associate your words with the music they heard in the womb and they start to hear the individual words and as they grow and acquire language, the growth is exponential. When the environment is language-rich, we pick up the patterns of language, the more interaction, the more growth. We’re really geared and born to learn to language.


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