Teach your child a new language!
In today’s society, it is almost necessary to speak more than one language. From jobs to traveling, knowing another language can help immensely. As a mom, I wanted to teach my daughter another language early. In the toddler stage, they tend to be a sponge. I studied Italian in school and taught my daughter some as I was learning. This method wasn’t as effective, since it wasn’t as easy to teach formalities to her. She still knows basic words and a few phrases, but she could not handle a conversation. Frankly, I probably couldn’t either. I’m sure Luigi may get upset if I asked for a repeat 10 times. I tried to think of a simpler and attainable method to teach her. We got a new dog to care for and to teach it commands, I decided we would not use English at all. After looking into different languages, I found that Czech was pretty easy to pronounce and simple in spelling. I did not know Czech prior to this. By learning this language with my daughter, it not only builds a bond but it increases the chance of both of us retaining the information. To start off, remember if it seems like work, it will not be fun to anyone. Also, if you chose to train an animal in the process, have patience. An additional perk to having your toddler help train an animal with you is building a bond between the animal and child. (Best if done with a puppy if possible).
Start small: If unsure of training methods for a puppy, read my blog about puppy training here! Research words for sit, stay, lay, potty, bed time and toy. You can use a translator, but it may not be technically correct. If you know someone who speaks the language, ask them for help. Say the words as you would if you were training in your language. I would recommend doing this alone at first and once the animal has caught on a little bit, add in the child. Explain to the child the word, what it means and how the dog only understands that word. To help the child pronounce the word, have them watch you say it and break it down for them if needed. First show them how you say the command to the dog and the reaction of the animal, then of course feed the dog a treat! Now let your kid try it. It may take a few tries. If you child doesn’t speak clearly, it may be something to wait on until they have developed further. Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce!!! Use it constantly. Add in a new word or two every day. Use all words daily!
If you don’t have an animal to train, start with something like foods or daily tasks. The important thing is to use them daily. Haven’t you ever heard of use it or lose it? One thing I hear people say about teaching a new language to a child is, “they will get it confused in learning their own language.” Well, sure it can happen. But it isn’t an issue. Brains have the capacity to hold information beyond imaginable for us.
The more you know, the more you grow!