Listening to a toddler’s strange babbling and fictional stories can be exhausting. But a new research reveals one of the most revolutionary parenting tips for boosting your child’s language skills and intelligence. It shows how having silly conversations with your little one can have a big impact on their lives later on.
Conversations for Brain Development
Listen up parents! A new study published in the Pediatrics journal last week says that listening and chatting to your enthusiastic toddler can have a huge payoff in the future.
Children who engaged in more conversations during their childhood grew up with higher IQs and better language skills than those who were raised in silence, the research claimed.
Jill Gilkerson, the author of the study, says that talking to your toddler is like nutrition for their brain. Most parents want to give their children the most nutritious foods to ensure healthy physical growth.
The same applies to their intellectual growth as well. The more brain-stimulating conversations they have during their childhood, the higher their likelihood of growing up with better conversational skills and IQ.
The study listened to day-long recordings of over 9,000 hours of conversations between parents and toddlers from the age of two months to four years. After 10 years, the researchers did a followup test on the children’s cognitive abilities and language skills.
Gilkerson analyzed the recordings to measure the volume of conversations between parents and toddlers, and how quickly children responded to questions with a phrase, word or even babble. She found that the more verbal stimulation children received from their parents, the more developed their brains became.
After 10 years, it was found that chatty toddlers had 27 per cent better verbal skills than their silent counterparts. Gilkerson says that talking to your children at young age is one of the biggest parenting tips for increasing their mental capabilities later in life.
Parents, Talk More to Your Kids
The remarkable findings show the importance of 18- to 24-month period in a child’s mental growth. This window is often referred to as ‘language explosion’. This is why doctors often tell parents to start their child’s education from an early age for proper brain development.
Family physician Dr. Laurie Green, says that her clients often ask for parenting tips to increase their children’s cognitive development and language skills.
Her biggest recommendation to these parents is to talk to their children as much as possible. Having conversation with toddlers may seem silly to adults but they can have crucial long-term benefits for the children.