What got me started on this was this article on Babble and in particular this video:
The article says: "Fernald and her colleagues found that the children of mothers who spoke more, used different words for the same object, used different types of words, and spoke in longer phrases to their children at eighteen months, not only had larger vocabularies but were faster at processing words at twenty-four months."
Here's the thing. I can't do this. I cannot keep up this kind of constant
chatter communication with my kids. That's just not my personality. I can be as talkative as the next person but I need to balance that with periods of solitude and repose to stay sane. So that is how I am with my kids too. If you were to walk into my house randomly, you could find me playing with them and talking to them, but you could just as likely find me sitting next to them while they played independently and reading a book.
The picture above is from when Ayaan was about three but this kind of thing is a pretty common sight even today. This way, he has the reassurance of my physical presence and knows that he just has to speak up when he wants to engage more directly.
With Tarana too, I usually plonk her down next to a basket of toys and let her get on with it. When she needs a cuddle, she crawls over, gets it and then goes back to playing. When she starts fussing out of boredom, I put my book down, talk to her, get her interested in another toy and then get back to my book.
This is what is comfortable for me. If I had to talk to the kids every waking moment, I would be seriously stressed out!
The article above also seems to draw links between the quantum of communication and vocabularies. I am not sure how competitive Ayaan's vocabulary was at twenty four months but both his teachers (from this year and the last) have mentioned to me that he has one of the best vocabularies in the class.
Again this happened because I did what came naturally to me. I
am was a voracious reader myself and so I read to him. A LOT. We started reading as soon as he was steady enough to sit in my lap and it continues. We read at least 4 books on a bad day and this can go up to 10 on a really good one. He has a pretty impressive library for a kid his age and a new book causes much excitement.
So, did I have a point? I guess what I want to say, in the immortal words of Frank Sinatra, is this: And more, much more than this; I did it my way