A new study has revealed that the more you chat to your children at a young age, the quicker their cognitive skills will develop.
You can often feel silly talking to things that can't talk back, especially if there are other people within earshot. However, that doesn't stop us talking to our cats and dogs as if they are capable of holding a conversation with us. The same goes for our babies. However, in that instance, we know that one day they will eventually be able to talk back.
Aside from entertaining yourself and your child, the object of talking to your baby before they can talk is to prepare them for a time when they can. The more your baby hears you and others speak, the quicker they will pick up on language and begin to speak themselves. However, a recent study conducted at the University of York has discovered that it is actually so much more than that.
Researchers who conducted the study found that parents who talk more to and around their children from a young age help with the little one's cognitive skills as well as their speaking ability. Children exposed to more chatty parents not only pick up on language more quickly, but their numeracy and reasoning skills also appear to develop a lot faster, reports The Week.
The study comprised of 107 children aged between two and four. Researchers fitted them with tiny audio recorders and listened to interactions with their parents over the course of three days, sometimes for up to 16 hours a day. Katrina D'Apice, a lead author on the study, said "we found that the quantity of adult spoken words that children hear is positively associated with their cognitive ability."
The study also revealed that some kids hear a lot more words per day than others, sometimes twice as many. If you ever feel silly talking to your kids before they can talk back, the above research should be evidence enough to power through the embarrassment. It is clearly incredibly important. Not just when it comes to language development, but your child's overall intelligence and wellbeing.