Monday, April 11, 2011

Kirstin the Narrator

I wish this post was to tell you that I've been cast as "The Narrator" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat...because that would be amazing! I have always wanted to play that part!

Alas, No. But what I do want to share is something I do (or at least try to do) with Gunnar everyday in everything we do...and that is narrate our day.  Yes. I'm that crazy lady in the grocery store who is telling her baby everything that is going on.  "Now we're going to the checkout. Mommy is going to put the food on the conveyor belt now." I explain to Gunnar step by step what we are doing, what we are going to do...I talk to him, a lot.  Now you might be thinking..."girl you are crazy, he's just a baby he doesn't know what you're saying!" But the truth is we don't really have any way of knowing if he is or isn't understanding what I am saying.  I figure the more words I speak directly to him, the more words he will hear.  And the more words he hears on a daily basis, the sooner he will comprehend these words. If he hears me say six times a day "Mommy is going to change your diaper now. I'm taking off your diaper now, etc." it is pretty likely that he'll know the word diaper sooner than later. 

Here are six reasons why narrating is a great thing to do with your children, according to Dr. Jenn Berman, (author of "Super Baby"):

1. It gives you something to talk about.  (It's true. John is away on business and with just me and Gunnar around it doesn't feel as quiet and lonely when I narrate the day...and it seems at times that Gunnar is talking back!) You're exposing your child to thousands of words when you narrate...that's a serious bonus!

2. It is respectful. Doing things to your child without telling them what you are doing is treating them like an object.  Narrating helps your child know what to expect and what comes next, which shows that you care about them and are treating them with respect.

3. It creates good communication from the start. If you already talk to your child the way you'd talk to another person, you won't have to change how you speak to them when they are older. This is great modeling behavior and he/she might mimic the way you've been talking to him/her once becoming verbal.

4. It provides predictability, which breeds security. When your child knows what is happening next he/she feels safe. Safety builds trust. Which creates a bond of trust between you and your child.

5. It gives your child a sense of control.  Knowing what is going to happen next helps your child prepare so they don't feel continually surprised. Having the chance to prepare for a transition makes them feel more in control so they are less likely to resist.

6. It helps prevent tantrums. As your child gets older and their will begins to develop, you will be met with resistance. Respectful communication is one of your best offenses.

"That's mommy's lip"

"That's mommy's nose!"

"Those are mommy's cheeks!"
"You think you're pretty funny don't you?!"
In other news...Gunnar is really getting the hang of sitting up on his own. Today he sat up for a good 7 minutes without any propping or help from me. Of course this didn't end I think he forgot there was nothing behind him and he flailed his arms back and really bonked his was on carpet, but I think it really scared him more than anything.  This was another good opportunity for narration..."Oh no. I know you bonked your head didn't you? You fell backwards."

"You're sitting all by yourself! Wow!"

1 comment:

  1. I'm a narrator too! And just FYI, you'd get the part over me, I just don't have the vocal range for that anymore : )