Sunday, June 26, 2011

Great Lengths...Great Scott!

If you have ever reached your due date (I did twice), you know how maddening it can be that you haven't gone into labor yet. Pregnant moms get desperate to meet their little one and spur themselves into labor with all kinds of crazy techniques. But how far is too far?

Here's an interesting article from IVillage on how far some women will go to try to induce labor themselves. (Herbal supplements and Castor oil and hot peppers, oh my!)

What did you try to do to get the (labor) party started? And did it work? Leave it in the comments section below.

Monday, June 20, 2011

So Advanced....

My friends and I always joke that our kids are "so advanced!" Of course, most parents think their kids are geniuses, but how do you know if your child is truly gifted? Check out this article from Lil Sugar for signs of a gifted child!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Word Explosion!

My husband often jokes with me that I am now being punished for worrying about my daughter’s speech when she was a toddler because as an almost five year-old, she never stops talking!

I often tell people that my sweet little girl has a paragraph in her head when she wakes in the morning, just waiting to come out! Just this past weekend, when she woke up one morning, she told us she had "five things she needed to tell us."

Now that my son is at the age that I used to worry about my daughter’s speech and vocabulary, I have noticed he is way more verbal at 22 months than she was…and I often wonder why? I know that every child develops differently and at their own pace, but I also think my son's verbal ability has to do with the fact that my son hears me and my daughter talking all day long to one another.

There are many things you can do to help build your toddler’s vocabulary and encourage and enhance his or her language development. Here are just a few ways you can help build a vast vocabulary in your little one below.

- Talk, talk and more talk!
Talk to your child all day long. Narrate what you are doing, what you see, and what you hear. There is no better way to teach your child words and how to have a back-and-forth conversation than to talk to your child. According to, a 1991 University of Chicago study documented the vocabulary growth of 22 children from the age of 16 months to 2 years. Half of the mothers of the children were considered "very talkative" mothers and the other half were considered "least talkative" mothers. Children with the “very talkative” mothers learned 295 more words by the age of 2 years than their counterparts, proving that exposure to speech is critical to building a child's vocabulary.

- Read to your child every day.
A child’s vocabulary is built tremendously by reading books to them every day. There are so many benefits to just 20 minutes of reading a day. For one, reading books aloud to your children builds a stronger relationship between parent and child. Children are also more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way when they relate to characters in a book. Make it part of your daily routine and your kids will be learning new words and gaining self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem in no time!

- Correct the cute-ness!
You are doing your child no favors when you let them incorrectly label something with the wrong word…so correct the “cute-ness!” I am the world’s worst at this. My daughter used to “be-cide” she wanted to do something, instead of “decide,” and I thought it was precious! My son calls his sippy cup his “doddle” (aka- bottle) and I don’t correct him because it melts my heart. Carol Garhart Mooney, author of Use Your Words, says parents need to correct improper word usage because the correction and clarification is essential to help children make sense of the word around them.

- Talk to your children, not at them.
Be sure to engage your kids in conversation, rather than just barking orders or giving instructions. Just talk to them, and let them express how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Ask your kids questions to engage them in conversation make sure the questions require a more in-depth answer than just one word. (Example: Instead of asking a question that can be answered in one word, such as, “Do you want milk or water with dinner,” ask your child, “Which is your favorite drink with dinner, milk or water, and why do you like it the best?” The more a child has the opportunity to use his or her words, the more adept he or she will become at holding a conversation and speaking to friends and adults as they grow.

Remember, you are your little one’s first and most important teacher, so start building their vocabulary today!

How do you help build your child’s vocabulary? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.