It’s amazing how quickly and easily babies learn to communicate, first non-verbally through gestures and facial expressions, and later with words.  While babies’ brains are wired to learn language, parents have an amazing power to boost language growth, both verbal and non-verbal, by taking some simple steps on a day-to-day basis.  So simple, that parents may not recognize the power they have to create exceptionally verbal children.  Step number one: talk, talk, talk to your child, from day one.  Actually, start talking to your child before birth.  The more words and the greater variety of words a child hears, the more quickly he or she will develop language and use it to better understand the world, emotions, and social interactions and the more likely that child is to become a life-long learner with exceptional verbal abilities.  Studies have shown that stimulating language growth between the ages of birth through 5 years has a profound effect on brain development and can significantly improve IQ and overall intellectual potential.  When parents take what Professor Carol Dweck has termed a “growth mindset” versus a “fixed mindset” approach to interacting with their children, the children are much more likely to expand not only their verbal language skills, but also their problem solving skills, personal interaction skills, and reasoning skills. Helping a child develop a “growth mindset” starts with   providing a language growth environment.  Language growth means brain growth, and parents have the power to foster that growth by consciously creating rich, stimulating verbal exchanges at home to inspire, challenge, influence, and guide their children on a daily basis.

To learn more about how parents can promote language growth and optimal communication skills, attend the Parent Workshop on June 13th with a talk entitled “Know Your Power: How Parents Can Affect a Child’s Language Growth.”

Contributed by Anita Wright