KidBits: I hear you, honey

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When kids ‘think’ they’re talking to us, drop the air quotes, because they ARE talking to us. They may not be using ‘real’ words yet, but there are some real stories, and a sense of expression and a need to be heard there. So listen. Show them you’re interested in their voices. Show them what a face looks like as it listens to someone else. Exaggerate joy, surprise, etc. Respond to them. You don’t need to use babble, you can choose to expand vocabularies by ‘repeating’/creating what they said. (EG: “babble babble babble” “oh my goodness, you ran all that way?” etc) Their delight is in being taken seriously, and having successfully engaged Mommy or Daddy in conversation. Body language and facial expressions are part of conversing. Take the time to listen, and build their self-esteem, their confidence and their repertoire of conversational skills. Sometimes, you might even be surprised by how much you actually understand…

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