No matter what the baby’s native language, listening, learning and talking emerge in a pattern. Yet there are unique differences in baby’s personality, learning, and communication style that alters development. A baby may have one style or demonstrate a mixture of styles. Adults can alter their style, but babies can’t change. If the baby’s and parent’s styles don’t match, the baby may not develop easily. But parents can easily learn to match the baby’s style in their play and talking to help the baby listen, learn and talk.
The “manipulators or active learners”
These babies focus attention on action, movement, play with toys, and figuring out how objects work. They will play with objects and are independent in their play. The baby is not naturally focused on the talking about objects with others. These babies may begin to talk later, generally don’t spontaneously imitate parent’s communication and may be later in their development of sounds, words, or putting words together to form sentences.
The “social communicators”
The “social communicators”, are born wanting to tell you about the experience! They are focused on people, “sharing” toys, what they see, want and feel. These babies babble more and later use jargon, made up sounds, words or sentences, to communicate words that they can’t say. They spontaneously imitate what their parents say because they want to take their turn, which may include looking at each other or saying sounds, words or sentences. These babies may talk earlier and more than other babies.
Enriching experience for optimum development
Babies are natural explorers and learners, but the key to enriching a baby’s experience is to match their interests, level of sound and language needs, unique style of learning, and for the parent to respond with excitement and laughter with each accomplishment. Simple changes in a parents’ communication and play can bring about enormous change in development.
Verbal Intelligence scores, of normally developing children of mothers trained in effective communication and learning strategies, ranged from 15 to 43 points higher (into the gifted range above the 90th percentile) than their performance scores in psychological testing completed at age five. The psychologist attributed the significant increase to parental enrichment. Early communication and play provides the foundation for all future learning. Like a building, the stronger and broader the foundation, the higher it can go.
Tune in and Target to determine your baby’s style either one style or combination of styles, and Explore ways to match and use style to enrich your baby’s play, listening, learning, and talking.