Parents Help Children with Language


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Language delays are the most common types of developmental setbacks in children. The COVID pandemic has made these problems worse for many at-risk kids who are not able to receive the outside support they need. Now Ivanhoe reports on how parents can help their kids flourish.

Crawling … walking … and talking. They’re milestones parents celebrate. Not all babies will meet them on time and sometimes parents are tempted to compare their child with others.

Language deficits are common developmental delays. Studies show about one out of every five children will learn to talk or use words later than others their age. Supporting children with language delays can be challenging in under-resourced communities especially during the pandemic. A new study compared toddlers whose parents had taken a language intervention training program to others whose parents did not.

The research suggests parents can help by allowing for pauses in your conversations giving your child a turn to talk, even if they don’t reply. Also, react enthusiastically when your little one seeks attention with sounds. Respond to a child’s sounds with single words or simple phrases. And of course, frequent reading with your kids has been shown to help improve language.

When working on language with your child, keep background noise and distractions to a minimum. Studies show too much tv can actually delay language development because parents tend to not talk to their children when both are focused on tv.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).