When my son was 25 months old, his femur was broken at a day care facility. He was not very verbal and was not able to tell me what happened. He was so young, I may never know what really happened to him.
But taking the time to have developmental conversation creates a valuable foundation for children, preparing them for everyday conversation with others their age and with adults.
Talking to children helps them realize communication truly serves a positive purpose. They learn to become better communicators, express their feelings appropriately and begin making wonderful connections to have even higher order thinking conversations.
One day after work, I was walking with my 3-year-old son, Castiel, to the mailbox. He heard a sound, stopped and grinned.
“What was that noise?” he asked.
Castiel looked both ways and then up at the sky.
“An airplane,” I said with a smile as I waited for his response.
“Where is it at? Is the plane going home?” he asked as his head tilted up to the sky watching the plane fly.
“I am not sure. The plane might be going home.”
“How did you know it was a plane?” he said.
He then turned and stared at me with curiosity in his big brown eyes.
“I can hear the motor; ummm or the uhh … I forgot the word I’m looking for,” I said in reply with a look of confusion.
Castiel laughed. “The motor mum?” he repeated.
“Well as soon as we get in the house I will Google it.”
“What’s Google?” he asked.
“Google is a tool on the Internet that helps you to research information when you are unsure of an answer,” I said. “There are other forms of researching such as using books in a library, collecting data from people, even...”
I realized I had begun to get ahead of myself in excitement because he was asking questions.
“Ummm mum?” he said with a blank look in his face.
“Yes?” I said with a smile.
“What are you talking about?” he asked as he lifted his eyebrow and grinned.
“Google helps your brain get smarter by making sure your answers are right.” I grinned back.
“Oh, OK. I get it now.” He laughed and kept walking toward the house.
It is important to provide children with a way to get answers. I decided to bring up Google because I am always having a homework night. My son does his “homework” as he sees me on the computer using Google to do mine. Every once in a while, he will walk up to me, see the screen on Google and say, “Oh, you doing homework?”
Cast has associated the Google’s logo with homework time. By using the word “Google” in conversation, eventually he will be able to connect it with homework and researching the right answers about anything.
Children should know that adults don’t have all the answers — they have tools to find the right answer. Providing children with the tools to research and encouraging developmental conversations teach them how to think for themselves, find answers for themselves and enriches their lives forever.