Your child 1-3 years

Language: how to help?


Your child starts talking? How to help it progress and what are the mistakes to avoid? The simple tips to apply daily (walk, bath, reading a story ...) of the linguist Laurence Lentin.

Your child tells a story that is hard to understand ...

  • Sometimes, the words of a toddler are enigmatic ... "You know, Nane, pushed me, and I did a spot, and then the mistress, and then weeping!" Often in a hurry, the parents cut short, but they can also help the child to clarify his story: "Jeanne pushed you and you made a stain on your drawing. It was the moment of the painting? "" Yes and the mistress, al rumbled ... "" Then the mistress scolded Jeanne, and Jeanne cried? "

Why is it going to help your child?

  • Telling an event, following the steps, distinguishing causes and consequences is difficult for a child. But we can always try to ask questions to better understand his story, to make assumptions to fill the gaps.
  • Once you have understood, resume your story with the logical sequence. The benefit for the child is certain, especially if it does not make him feel the failure of his attempts!

In his stroller, your child hums little words ...

  • The parent does not always pay attention to the words of the child while walking in his stroller. The "Tata ... mama ... pati" then fall into the void. But he can also try to understand what the child says and address him: "Mom left, we go to the house of Tata." The child will resume: "Mom pati ... Tata aison."

Why is it going to help your child?

  • This child has been listened to. We spoke to him in a coherent language adapted to his. He answered according to his possibilities. What was initially just a kind of vocal game became a real dialogue.
  • This adult-child exchange, which involves language, is both an element of learning and an enrichment of the emotional relationship.

At the moment of the bath, one formulates the instructions ...

  • At bath time, we are often in a hurry. Rather than talking to the child in an expeditious way, without phrases ("Get up! Quick! Your slippers!") We can try to slow down the pace and use a verbal educational phrase: "Raise your arms, we will withdraw your pullover. You could sit on the floor and take off your socks. "" Will you take off my tulotte? "" That's it, you take off your pants. "

Why is it going to help your child?

  • These instructions are easy and complete. The question of the child is repeated in everyday language, without insisting or repeating it, in a climate of trust, conducive to learning.
  • If he had been ordered to do so, this toddler would not have been able to withdraw anything in terms of language: transformed into an automaton, the mental work necessary for this learning would not have been possible.

We read a book ...

  • For a good reading time, the physical proximity is essential: the little child likes to settle on the knees of his parent or to curl up against him. He can turn pages, show with his finger, ask questions.
  • The adult can take liberties with the text, simplify a difficult word, modify the syntax, shorten passages.

Why is it going to help your child?

  • By adapting the reading to the child's understanding, the parent avoids his picking up. Thus, a toddler learns to relate the "spoken" with the writings and images of a story.
  • By choosing good books, you will discover to your child a language different from everyday life, which will facilitate your learning to read.

About Laurence Lentin, linguist, collected by Isabelle Gravillon, supplement "Parents" magazine Popi