Never too little to start

What parents do is so important

Just by playing with your baby you are developing social and communication skills. A strong bond involving talking, singing and reading between a parent and child during the first 1000 days significantly accelerates their language take-up in the future.

The power of success lies in the parents. The key is what happens at home well before a child is even old enough to go to pre-school. The ability to concentrate and think, and how ready you are to learn is all built in the first 1000 days when a baby's brain almost triples in size. The first few years is when 80 to 85% of the brain is built, so this is why we need to target our resources and effort at this time.

By starting earlier we can change our children's lives and every parent has the key to find their part. Talking Matters knows that there is a threshold for being able to learn and it is when we have very young babies – this is the time to act. We are putting effort into developing our children's brains while they are responding so acutely to new stimuli as this gives all children their maximum potential. We are growing social beings who work by responding to cues, and this is essential in most parent and child conversations.

What are rich conversation tools?

What a child needs from a very early age is 'rich' conversation. Understand this conversation works by:

Talking more: Narrate what is happening in your daily life, young children will be introduced to new words everyday. Regardless of who you are, what you earn, where you come from, start a conversation.

Tuning-in: Start by tuning-into the child's needs, which in the early days is babbling and noises, and later listening to their interests and expressions.

Talking more often, talking for longer & taking turns: This is the conversational turn taking. Babies start with their facial expression, smiles and progressing to sounds, and shaping words. The back and forth, serve and returning conversation makes a big difference.

Talking differently: Praise effort, expand and gift new words.

Talking everywhere: Every moment is potentially a talking moment.

A COMET AUCKLAND INITIATIVE

TALKING MATTERS IS SEED FUNDED BY THE NEXT FOUNDATION

ALSO FUNDED BY