Parent Strategy #4
RADIO COMMENTATOR (Descriptive Language)
Now that you are comfortable keeping your child in a good listening position using your YARDSTICK strategies, lets talk about the kind of language you need to be using. Children learn the words for things by hearing someone say those words as they play, eat, dress, laugh, cry and think.
Parents must be like a radio commentator of their child’s life. Just like the sports announcer on the radio describes every detail of a football game for his listening audience, parents should make short, interesting comments that describe what their child is doing.
For example, when your child is having a blue Popsicle:
(Child looks at the Popsicle) ``That’s a Popsicle. ``says the parent. ``It’s blue. Brrr, its cold too. ``
(Child smiles) ``Amy likes it. Yum yum! ``
It’s important that the words match not only what the child is doing (``licking the popsicle`), but also what they are thinking (``its cold`) and feeling (`Amy likes it`). In this way, your child begins to match words they hear you say to the things they are experiencing.
Sometimes your child will be watching you do something, so parents need to radio commentate themselves.
For example: ``Daddy’s brushing his teeth`. Squeeeeeeze the Toothpaste. Put back the lid. Turn on the water. Daddy’s listening. Pssssshhh. That’s water.`` Etc.