LISTENING AND TALKING TO CHILDREN : A self-help resource
A4 - full colour -20 pages
Babies communicate from birth, through sounds - crying, cooing, squealing - facial expressions - eye contact, smiling, grimacing - and gestures/body movements - moving legs in excitement or distress, and later, gestures like pointing.
Babies continue to develop communication skills when adults respond to their efforts to “tell” others about what they need or want.
A newborn nuzzles at her mother’s breast. Her mother says, “Oh, you must be hungry.” This baby is learning that her loved ones will respond to her signals and communications.
A 9-month-old starts messing with the food on his high chair, as if wiping it clean with his hands. His father notices, saying: “Hey mate, looks like you are finished. Let’s go and play on the rug.” This baby is learning that he/ she is an effective communicator.
A 28-month-old is at the park. She is pointing urgently at something and saying to her grandfather, “OOK! OOK! OOK!” He says, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Could you say it again please?” She continues to point and repeats the “words” a number of times. Finally, her grandfather says, “Oh, the red parrot. Yes, I see it up there in the tree!” This toddler is learning that her loved ones will work hard to understand her attempts to communicate.
A 3-year-old chats with his mother on the way home from playgroup. He tells her he liked the songs and snack, but didn’t like the game they played. His mother listens, and asks some questions.
This toddler is learning that what he has to say is important to the people who love him, and that he is a good communicator.
More self-help skills and resources can be found in LISTENING AND TALKING TO CHILDREN.