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Dear Mr. Father. My 13-month-old says only two words: daddy և mom. My best friend’s son is two months younger, he’s constantly bragging about how many words he knows. She worried me that something was wrong with my baby. Do all children start talking at the same age? In any case, what can I do to increase my child’s vocabulary?

A: As for walking այլ other important developmental events, there is no set time for the child to start talking, what is ‘normal’ is a big, big range. Some start collecting words when they are 9 months old; others do not have much to say until they are 2 years old. Vocabulary size և The age of the child when those words start circulating in his mouth is not an indicator of intelligence (Albert Einstein presumably was almost silent until he was 4 years old). There is definitely a component to success here, but here are some things you can do at home that can speed things up.

Can the child speak?

Your natural spoken voice is best because it implies to the child English (or the language you speak) as it is actually spoken. I have never been able to understand why so many people are unable to talk to their children naturally. Instead, they smile at the biggest fake smile they can get, saying things like, “cootchi-cootchie widduw baby-poo, can be pinchy-winchy your cheeky-weeky.” Is it really the egg you want your child to learn to talk about?

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Set aside your child’s videos և take out a book

Research has shown that children who spend a lot of time watching “educational” videos actually have less vocabulary than children who spend less time on screen. Conversely, children who have been read in order to be admitted to school with a greater vocabulary երկար longer pay attention և have fewer problems learning to read, according to The My Tracey, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook.

Encourage եք expand

If your child says “ba-ba”, do not leave it alone. Instead, answer with the full sentence, “Do you want your bottle?” Or “Yes, it’s a sheep”, depending on what you think he means.

Explain everything

If you are feeding your baby, talk about the food, the color, the taste, the mess. If you are outside, talk about traffic, weather, trees, and construction sites. This may be old news to you, but it’s all new to your baby.

Do not lecture

Just speak in a casual, conversational tone, using whole sentences և a slightly higher vocabulary where you think your child is.

Keep “no” և “do not” to a minimum

I know, it’s hard, but try anyway. To begin with, these terms are terribly broad. If you say no or do not do it, your child may not understand what you mean. What he really knows is that you are unhappy with him. Too much “no” և “not to do” will discourage creativity and research. Instead, give some details, such as “Knives are sharp, they are not for babies” or “It is safe to try to put mommy hairpins in electrical outlets.” Of course, all your outlets are securely covered, but you know what I mean.

Try to include all of the above steps in your daily routine. Of course, there is no guarantee that they will start your child’s vocabulary (although reading and turning off the TV will definitely help). But there is absolutely no downside to trying them as often as possible. If your child suddenly wants to read Shakespeare, great. If not here’s a new product just for you!

Follow Armin Brott on Twitter, @mrdad, or email armin@mrdad.com.

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