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Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 14 October 2013
I’ve always wondered if the inspiration for the lyrics for the Police song, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” came to Sting in the nursery.

The gurgling noise may sound like nonsense and gibberish but don’t be too quick to disregard the importance of the sounds babies and young children make.

Baby music is a great introduction for words and melodies. However, you should also make the effort to turn off the stereo whilst driving and listen to the youngster strapped in the back seat. Or when young Daniel is happily babbling during play time, you can always start a conversation of sorts.

Engaging a child through sound supports their communication. It also gives you a window into their world. Young humans are social beings and keen to connect with others around them. They enjoy hearing you talk to them and also love to be heard. No matter how young, the practise of a two-way dialogue gives a child the chance to respond to what you say and then stop so that it is your turn again.

This exercise helps build their understanding and eventually, language skills. It will show them that you are interested and that they are worth listening to.

Although babies also communicate through crying, body language, facial expressions, behaviour, actions and play, it is never too early to start a conversation.

Miss G was a slow talker and at three was still struggling to verbalise her thoughts. In a way her brain had to work with lateral concepts to convey her expressions. One day she tried to tell me she wanted something specific to eat. We opened the cupboards and fridge and I named all the items I thought she might be interested in.

Completely frustrated, she went to her toy box and returned with her camera, put it to her face and sounded out “ch”. CHEESE. Of course! She knew the word but could not complete the sound. (When she did eventually find her voice in the months to come, she prattled on and became an incessant talker. She is now studying Journalism at university.)

Children need time to process thoughts and responses to you. They have all sorts of opinions and insights. Take the time to listen and you will let them know that you respect their ideas. And you might just learn something new yourself.

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