(In tune of Baby Shark) Part two two two two two two ta two. Now you have that stuck in your head. You are welcome.
Part two of language in play. Last week we talked about bossy play. If you missed it, go read it. Now. Click right here. (Speaking of bossy – jeez).
So, what is part two? Did you like part two? What did you learn about part two? Oh am I asking you a question before teaching you anything? I am. Because I am trying to make a point. You are giving me that look right now. I know that look, the “I’m trying to be nice, but this is wierd” look. I get it from Hank a lot.
Okay, I will get to it…Part two of language in play is this: Don’t ask your child questions – especially ones they do not know the answer to. If you ask a child what color something is when you know they have never once labeled something this color, you are setting your child up to fail – and be mad at you. (This doesn’t just go for colors. It goes for new words, new experiences, new anythings) When a child is learning language, asking them questions does not teach them anything. It does a lot of other things, like frustrate them, cause them anxiety, make them not want to play with you, cause them to give you dirty looks while pouting on a bench…. but is does not teach them anything.
Instead of asking questions, go ahead and tell them answers. “You have a blue car” is so much better than “What color is that car?” You just modeled a color, a phrase, and you described what they are doing – which is the most exciting thing ever for a two year old! “That bulldozer is going backwards” beats “What is that? Do you see what it is doing?” every time. New words, new concepts….so much learning!
What happens when you CANNOT STOP ASKING QUESTIONS? What should you do if it is so engrained in you that as you play with your child you cannot stop asking them about colors and noises and all those exciting things you cannot stop asking questions about? You give them the answer. “What color is that? (pause and panic because you realized you asked another question!) Blue car!” See that is easy enough, right?
Okay, so it is not that easy. Not asking questions is much harder than you think! Habits are hard to break! But give it a try anyways!