Parenting Connection: How to build better communications skills, Part II

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Communication is a necessary skill for young kids to learn and child development experts at Michigan State University have come up a with way parents and caregivers can help toddlers get better at it. They tout a communication strategy called the three T’s: tune in, talk more, and take turns. Last week we learned about how to “Tune-In” — today, we’ll focus on the second T, “Talk More.”

Developers of the Three T system say, despite the title — talk more isn’t just about using additional words, it’s about engaging with your children and limiting the amount of times you talk “to” or “at” your child. Child experts say, when you engage with a kids, you allow them to be actively involved in the communication process, plus they get the chance to learn new ways to share their thoughts, ideas or opinions.

Child experts at Michigan State University Extension say, the following are ways to help you “talk more” to your child:
*Narrate what you’re doing. This means, talk with your young child about what you are seeing, feeling, thinking and doing.
*Use parallel speech. This means narrating out loud what your child is doing, seeing, hearing, tasting, or touching.
*Be word specific. This means reducing the number of times you use the words “it” and “thing.”
*Talk about the past. This helps your kids remember things they have seen or done with the words associated with it.
*Expand and extend. This means advancing simple words they currently use, like go and more, and helping them stretch that word into a sentence. For example, if you’re eating pizza and they say more, use that moment to help them add a few words to say… I want more pizza.

Next week we’ll examine the third T, representing talking turns.

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