“You actually spend time with your kids?!”

I was recently at my doctors office with both my daughters. The receptionist wanted to show them the dancing snowman she had on her desk. It was really sweet to watch my girls in awe of this magical snowman.

Then she said to me that the girls behaved so well and she could tell that someone actually spends time with them!

I was shocked. What did she mean?

She said it was obvious when she saw the children where the parent doesn’t spend much time with their child. Language is not as developed and behaviour is a bit worse.

I have been doing some research for my upcoming book. So I wanted to look into this further.

We all assume that spending time with our children is a good idea. But how much? What do we do during that time? What are the benefits?

  • talking with children helps develop language skills and stimulates brain development
  • the more words your baby is exposed to the better they are prepared to read on their own
  • children who were read to as newborns have a bigger vocabulary and more advanced math skills
  • the number of words a baby hears is directly related to her language skills
  • babies who’s parents spoke to them a lot had higher test scores at age 3 than those who weren’t as verbal
  • reading to them teaches them about emotions early on
  • reading shows her that reading is fun and not a chore, she will develop lifelong love of learning

Steps You Can Take:

  1. Do a Mommy Cooking Show – when you are in the kitchen and your baby is in her high chair, face her towards you and describe everything you’re doing. It will help her vocabulary and you’ll be spending time together!
  2. Visit your Local Library – I know I get bored of the books we have at home. They might too! If you keep switching up the books, this keeps her brain growing and learning new words, shapes, colours and emotions.
  3. Discuss the Emotional Situations in Books – studies have found that babies aged 19-21 months know the difference between right and wrong. Use their story books to explain different situations e.g. how to treat one another, feeling compassion for the sad elephant and happiness towards the animals playing nicely together. This gives her context to real life situations so she will start to develop empathy and a good conscience.

I’d love to hear about your favourite books!

One of my favourites is “Sometimes I like to Curl Up in a Ball” by by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge. It has lots of good fun and emotions, about playing fair, not always winning the race, and coming home for a snuggle at night. 

Dr. Whitney Young, ND. Super Baby Coach.

I’d love for you to join me in my moms group on Facebook called Guiltless Grace – how to raise a happy, healthy, & hearty kid without the Mommy Guilt. We share lots of things about food, exercise, play and overall raising healthy kids.

Resources:

www.parents.com/baby/development/intellectual/benefits-of-reading-to-your-newborn