Dearest Hubby recently informed me that, now that Little Man is 15 months old, I should be actively teaching him to talk. To which I delicately snorted (and perhaps guffawed raucously) at and asked him what exactly he thought I was doing all day, every day.
Do you want to know how I teach my kids to talk? Not by strapping them into the high chair or booster seat and forcing them to do flashcards for 2.5 hours a day or by investing in the latest Rosetta Stone series. I talk to them. Constantly. I tell them what we're doing, what we will be doing, point out shapes, colors, numbers, tell them what the name of different things are, etc. I would imagine that most mothers employ this time-tested method. Sometimes, I have to tell myself to back off a little and let the poor child absorb the 84 facts I've just crammed into his little brain in the last 6 minutes. Sometimes, I find myself talking to an empty cart at the grocery store.
Look at these pretty marshmallows! There's pink, and green, and.....oh shoot. I left the kids with my sister today." *Notes funny looks from fellow shoppers and exits quickly*
Let's face it. Young children learn the best by watching their parents, exploring the world around them, and just being kids. A child learns something from everything they do, whether it be eating sand from the sandbox ("This just doesn't taste as good as I thought it would. It has an interesting texture, but the flavor isn't quite right. Why is Mommy running over here with a panicked look on her face?") to playing with blocks and cooking utensils (preferably not knives). Which is why I believe in giving my kids educational or role playing toys to explore. I'm not a big fan of the push-a-button-and-the-toy-plays-for-you toys, which is why I became a consultant for Discovery Toys.
While I've been typing up this blog post, Little Man has learned that if he digs in the garbage can and smears the remainder of a can of tomato paste all over himself, the garbage can, and the kitchen floor, Mommy will throw oyster crackers on the floor (hey, it's recently vacuumed!) to distract him so she can get a little work done.