Why we should talk to kids – and what it teaches them

When we talk with our children we are teaching them how to talk, listen and interact with others. So, your child could be showing you something they’ve done, asking you a question or talking about their day – these brief chats are all chances for your child to learn.

For babies, any sound can be a way of communicating with them. Talk, sing and coo to them as much as you can. Name things around them as you talk. This is how they learn what things are called.

As they get older, kids will start to name things. They might point and say “truck”. You could reply, “Yes. It’s a red truck.” So you have let them know they are right, given them a new word and put it all in a simple sentence for them.

Toddlers and preschool-age children ask lots of questions. They are starting to explore their world and will ask you about things they don’t understand or things that worry them.

When they come to you and ask, pause what you are doing briefly, give them your attention, and listen to what they say. You can also ask them questions about what they think.

Talking to your children also sets up a relationship between parent and child. They are more likely to feel free and safe to talk to you. And this is so important as they grow up.