Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mind your language

Remember the first time our baby/ ies made that first sound which sounded like something other than crying. The first time he said something which sounded like mama, papa. How thrilled and excited have we all been and how much we wanted them to call us mama and papa evey now and then. Though it sounds very simple and natural, language development is quite a complex process.

Langauge development in little children goes through definite stages starting with gurgling, cooing, babbling, and so on until they start using words which are repeated and encouraged by the parents and the first word usualy being mamamama, gradually paapaapapa and so on. Later it gets more complex and children start using single words then join two words and finally make sentences.

In all this children learn faster when parents talk to them, repeat words and encourage them. If the child lives in a joint family then their langauge development accelerates. I really like the ad that we see on T.V where the dad asks his toddler to say banana, czechoslovakia. Very cute . So as parents we have a great role to play in language development of our children.

Therefore there is one fact that all of us need to keep in mind. As children learn to speak by imitating us, we as parents need to be very careful as to what words we use. Certain words should definitely be a no-no in the household. Using swear words should be avoided. Sometimes certain words like "stupid" which is commonly used by parents in a playful way is copied by the children. When they use it in their babyish way we find it to be very cute. But as they grow older more and more unwanted words get added to their vocablary. Once they start going to school more and more slangs and swear words are used which they pick up from their friends and other people. They use it without understanding its meaning, but somehow at the right time.

Suddenly when they use it in front of us we are left stupefied. As parents we therefore need to be on gaurd and atleast make the children aware that certain words are definitely taboo atleast in the household. At school we do not have any control. But constantly checking them and reprimanding them will go a long way. But to do that first we need to mind our langauge.

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