Monday, April 4, 2016

Parenthood: Week 146 – Chatterbox

Witnessing a human being learn how to talk is an amazing experience. From the first phonemes to his first sentence, Ollie’s development as a speaker has been really fun and exciting.

Ollie is only a couple months short of his third birthday, so we are solidly in the “kid’s say the darndest things” zone (ugh, I hate how that phrase brings up the memory of Bill Cosby).

There are so many cute things he does with his voice. Like his dad, Ollie sometimes makes up words (or sounds) to songs that he is singing. Ollie had a phase where he would narrate everything he would do as he was doing it. It’s really cute how most of the time when I tell him to say something to his mommy, he will repeat it word for word, or try to.

Letting Ollie make mistakes and not correcting him all of the time is one of those things that teaching has really helped me deal with. I believe that first graders should be allowed to display work they are doing that has misspellings and I think that middle school band students should learn how to play mistakes with grace and not play in the fear that they will be yelled at if they miss a note.

Yes, there is a right and wrong way to do things and now that Ollie is speaking so much more, errors in the expression of his thoughts are much more clear than before. He will often skip numbers when counting, especially when he gets to teens, when he counts objects sometimes he counts an object twice and when he talks he makes all kinds of grammatical mistakes.

If his brain fully understood all of the concepts that he was speaking with and about than it would be time to be correcting him, but for right now the most important thing is that he is being curious and exploring language. Yes, I do help him when he is struggling and sometimes I do correct him, especially when his mistake is dramatically changing the meaning of what he is saying, otherwise I let it go.

I’m loving toddler-hood and the speaking is one of the main reasons. There’s so much fun in talking, making silly voices, and playing around with language. It’s a great feeling helping him learn new words and when we make a connection through conversations, I can see the excitement in his eyes.

I’ll never understand the “children should be seen, not heard” thing. I never get tired of hearing Ollie talk. Now I do get tired of his whining and the unintelligible sounds that goes along with tantrums, but all the other speaking he does, it’s just all kinds of “awwww.”

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