Episode 18 – Practical Steps to Optimize Your

Child’s Speech Development with Avivit Ben-Aharon

Episode 18

“Language development does not end when the child begins to talk. I think most people forget that as kids get older, there is a lot of room to help them develop good language skills and in turn also very good academic skills.”

Avivit Ben-Aharon shares practical tips to optimize your child’s speech development no matter their age! Listen in to hear how changing just a few habits in your everyday life can make a big difference to your child’s ability to communicate! You can learn more about Avivit at www.GreatSpeech.com! Thanks for listening and don’t forget to share, review, and subscribe to the podcast!

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or SoundCloud

For Early School Age:

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click one of our affiliate links and decide to make a purchase, we receive a tiny commission from the seller at no additional cost to you. We only share products and services we have used, tested, and love ourselves!*
Click Here to Ready the Full Transcript
Intro: Welcome to the Raiseology podcast with your host, pediatrician and parenting mentor, Sharon Somekh, here to empower parents to raise resilient and independent children. Grab your coffee or your Margarita and let’s get started. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should be used to supplement rather than substitute the care provided by your physician.

Sharon: Welcome to the Raiseology podcast, I have with me today Avivit Ben-Aharon. She is the founder and clinical director at great speech incorporated and Great Tutor, LLC. She prides herself on being an advocate for the best in speech pathology services for children, adolescents, and adults, and a pioneer and visionary for the future of speech pathology and interactive tutoring. Hi Avivit! Welcome.

Avivit: Hi! Thank you so much for having me join this podcast. I’m a big fan. I love listening to your podcasts, so they’re really very informative.

Sharon: Thank you and thank you so much for being here. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your family?

Avivit: Sure, I am a mom of four boys. My oldest is 17 and my youngest is two, so I’m experiencing sending his son off to college at the same time as I’m going through toilet training. So I have a mix of things going on in my house all at the same time. Um, my boys are, like I mentioned the senior one is a freshman in high school, one is in fifth grade and one is in a baby in nursery school. And it’s really very interesting to see the evolution of these. My personal evolution in parenting for my oldest two, my baby and I’m really enjoying this baby phase very much and I’m holding onto it for dear life as long as I possibly can. I really do. How quickly it goes away and they become teenagers and they don’t need us to read them bedtime stories anymore or hugs and kisses as much. So it’s really so precious to see their development. And it also helps me a lot when I work with different age ranges with my own clients. Um, how, what are some things that could be helped to somebody who’s in high school or middle school or elementary school versus a little kids as they develop their language skills. So I really get to experience both as a parent as well as, as a professional.

Sharon: Yeah. It’s interesting that you say that because I find the same to be true for me. That having such a wide range of ages in my home helps me develop the content for the podcast, helps me answer questions in a very different way than if I wasn’t having that experience at the same time. So it’s something that I definitely appreciate and think about a lot too. I have you here today on the show because, um, I would really love to talk about and do an episode on how to develop language skills in children and what is it that we as parents can do to make sure that we’re setting up our children in the best way possible, um, to have the best start. And then as we go through and they get a little bit older, what are things that we can do as parents to further their language skills.

Avivit: Absolutely. And I so appreciate that you touched on the fact that language development does not end when the child begins to talk. Um, and I think most people forget that as kids get older, there is a lot of room to help them develop good language skills and in turn also very good academic skills. So we kind of need to think of a child holistically. At what stage are they in terms of their development and how can we enforce it. So I always look at little babies and especially now when we work, um, we see a lot more technology being infused in children’s world. And who am I to speak? My whole model is working on technology and using web conferencing technology to interact with our clients. So it almost sounds counterintuitive for me to bring this up, but I do find that there’s got to be balance and the use of technology with, with children needs to be within moderation, like everything else in life. So when we communicate with, especially with the little little ones, so I’m talking about the three months, six months, eight months old. It’s really imperative throughout their development that we really spent a lot of time talking with our children. There should be a lot of language going on in the house when the babies are around, the more words they hear, the better it is for them. So narrate everything you do. If you’re washing dishes, talk to your baby who is right there and tell them, oh, I’m washing my dishes and then I’m going to dry them and then I’m going to put them away. And it really helps to build a lot of the social emotional connections as well as some language skills. So it’s really, really imperative to engage in conversation with your baby. Yes, they don’t speak back. They don’t talk back and that’s okay, but you do want to make sure that you’re communicating with your baby and you’re constantly immersing them in language and as they get older and you starting to get more reciprocal connection and you’re starting to get some more responses from the baby. You want to then use very specific language, so try to avoid concept like, oh, bring it over there and put it on on top of there and use more words like put it on top of the dresser, put it inside the cabinet, whatever it is, just want to keep the conversation going. The words flowing around your children and vocabulary to be a major focus in your house. When reading a book, talk about the pictures. Talk about what’s going on in the story. Oftentimes there’s no need to actually read the words that are in the story. You can make up your own story as you look at the pictures and help your child come up with their own story about the books that they’re reading. So conversation is a must in the house.

Sharon: Can I asked you a question? At what age would you say you started or you recommend that parents start reading a story, reading stories to their kids?

Avivit: At birth. It sounds, okay what would the child understand? But again, it’s a way to reinforce the idea of words and language around the baby. So just getting them used to sitting there and simple books. It doesn’t have to be anything of great length, but just pictures, just animated pictures. Anything that reinforces feeling and touch the touch/feel books are amazing around three and five months as kids begin to develop more skills and you can even take their hand and put it on top of the, the, the page where they, there’s a different texture and have the, you know, talk about the texture or this feels soft and this feels rough, but just keep the conversation going. A lot of parents find that that’s a time to kind of connect with their babies. And a book kind of keeps it within a context. Is it almost like a framework of, okay, instead of just talking to a baby who doesn’t talk back to me, I’m going to read them a story and that’s beautiful. Um, narrate books, the repetitive books like the Brown bear, Brown bear that repeat themselves, those are on the six to eight months stage of the kids begin to recognize them more colors, some more animals, and of course the to be continued throughout the development. This is not something that should stop after they turn a year. These kinds of books can really serve them up until a year and a half in two years and you’ve been two and a half years. There’s nothing cuter than a two year old who sits there and tells the story of Brown Bear, Brown bear independently. So, you know, at some point you become so much that you’re like, I can hear this book again. But it is very, very. Um, it’s a great way to learn to teach kids, to focus, to attend, to develop language. These are skills that are separate even than the actual wording of the book. It’s just the idea of sitting and focusing for a few minutes on one particular task I think is very important. Especially nowadays.

Sharon: Yeah. It’s funny that you’ve mentioned that because one of my favorite videos I have of my oldest daughter is when she was around two and she’s reading, reading a book to us, you know, and it’s like verbatim. She just remembered all the words, but it was so. It’s my cutest, most favorite video of her.

Avivit: Absolutely. And you know what? Not only did they remember the words, they also learned from that our intonation and how we vary our intonation. So the more animated you are at home, the better it is for a child because that’s kind of how they learned that there’s different ways to use their voices to get attention. So you know, even when you’re narrating to a baby, use that high squeaky motherese kind of voice. That helps to catch the babies attention more monotone. You are the less attentive they tend to be. That’s what studies have shown. So they’re drawn to the high frequency, varied intonation, which makes sense. We do the same. We gravitate towards people who are very, who tend to be more animated and we pay attention to that. So it’s the same thing that you talk to babies is you want to keep that verbiage, but you also want to make sure that you’re animated, you’re expressive with your voice and your expressive with your face.

Sharon: Yeah, that’s great. And then, um, I guess as they get closer to that first year being over and now you have toddlers, what would your recommendations be there?

Avivit: Again. Lots of conversation following directions. Giving them more than one step at a time. So give me the ball and the sock and can you go get me the book and the garbage can, whatever it is that’s next to, to the baby that the baby can start working on, develop a lot of the comprehension and their understanding skills would be very beneficial. Um, games, activities, turn-taking games, working on, you know, games that involved causing effects. So you do something and then something happens. That’s a great skill and a great opportunity to engage with your baby. And nobody understands this more than I do, which is we’re so busy and it’s so easy, sometimes you just turn on the TV on, give you an Ipad, I’ll give the phone and just let them do their thing and it’s nice and it’s quiet and for sure it happens in everybody’s home and if somebody doesn’t do it, that’s pretty impressive. But if you can allocate just a few minutes a day, preferably low in the morning and a little bit in the afternoon whenever you can and just spend the time playing games and interacting or even tickling or you know, doing all sorts of fun games really help to foster both the language aspect and the social and emotional connections, babies really thrive on and learn from.

Sharon: Yeah. That’s great advice. Um, what about situations where children. So most of what you talked about was how to encourage the language skills for the child to understand everything that you’re saying. How would you recommend that besides all of that and that parents encourage the expressive language? So I have, I would say one of the most common questions I got in practice would be, you know, that 14, 15 to 17 month old that understands everything that mom and dad are saying but doesn’t have a lot of words themselves. And I’d be curious to say, to hear what you offer is advice for that. I mean, I know what I usually recommended, but you are the professional.

Avivit: Thank you. So first of all, I always want to make sure that along with, you know, the baby who understands, we always want to look at the overall picture of a child. So we want to make sure that the baby can seem to be hearing okay. Um, so we want to get any kind of fluid in the ears or, or any kind of circumstance that could be related to more of hearing situation. And then we also want to make sure that other elements of communication are there, meaning is the child pointing, is a child making good eye contact. Those are the things we definitely want to rule out and write it off to the start. We want to make sure that we are rolling those things and and other than that it’s just that the child is not picking up on more words and what I do with that is oftentimes again, a lot of modeling, a lot of modeling, so oftentimes I would offer families and I would say to them, the best way to really teach great language skills is have the baby sitting in a highchair and really pretend to almost be a therapist at that point and just do a lot of games and activities where the child can physically look at you and you could look at the baby so that there’s that eye contact and you know that the child is kinda looking at the way you’re saying things and paying more attention rather than kind of talk to them on the fly. This way you really are creating time to focus on language and in that time you do puzzles and you can do a book and you can just narrate again. Read a lot of words around and any kind of a sound that a baby makes at that stage. You want to really reinforce and you really want to develop. So if the child says meow, you want to say yes, the cat says meow and you don’t even have to use so many words, kathy out, and we just want to keep it very simple at the beginning so the kids can really pick up on the words and then eventually you can develop more the sentence structure. But at the beginning it’s perfectly fine to talk to babies in a very simplistic way so that they have an easier time picking up the words. So those are the kinds of things that we would do. Lots of games, lots of talking, lots of conversation, lots of singing, um, that really help to reinforce language and as much as possible create situations for the baby to be able to communicate his needs.

So as parents and when we have siblings in the house, it’s very common that we all intuitively know what this baby needs. So really the baby doesn’t have so many opportunities to use these language skills and we become their speakers. So especially if there’s a nanny or grandma that’s starting over and making sure that the baby’s needs are being met, it reduces the opportunities to communicate and express and the need to do that because if you know that babies up from the crib and he’s going to want to be picked up, give him a chance to kind of try to communicate that to you. Um, and, and reinforced the word up up. Every time you go into the crib and you want to pull the baby out, you want to say the word up, up, up, up, up. And eventually most typical child will start picking up on that. It might take five times, they might take 25 times, but eventually they do pick up on that queue and they’ll start to try to imitate that up and whatever they do to imitate it, you are going to reinforce because that’s a first step of communication.

Sharon: Yeah. I love that advice of not speaking for the baby. I could have a couple of parents tell me that when they’re a three or four year old went to preschool, then suddenly the baby started talking more because the four year old was speaking for the baby all time.

Avivit: Absolutely. Absolutely. Family Dynamics make a huge difference in how a child develops. On the other hand, you can say, I’m sure you see it in your own house. The younger kids pick up language in a different way because there’s so much language going on in the house.

Sharon: Yea and it’s usually not the language you want them picking up. Haha

Avivit: Haha. It’s amazing how that’s the stuff that they like, but it’s exactly that. We want to make sure that we are on the one hand modeling a lot of language, but also giving them an opportunity to communicate that language and they’re picking up. So set up situations where they need to use their language a little bit more and don’t be so attentive even though intuitively that’s what you want to do. Give them an opportunity to try to say, but you know, a bottle or juice or water or something so that they start using their skills and understand, oh, if I make this sound, this thing happens, this is a good thing and work from there.

Sharon: Yeah, I love that. And then as they get a little bit older, what would your recommendations be? I think that parents just assume that things will fall into place and you know, I don’t, I can’t even say what it is that I do to encourage language in my older children and when I say older children, it could be even, you know, kindergarten to fourth or fifth grade, you know, and then I’m sure there’s even more different things that you can do in middle schoolers to help them as well.

Avivit: So, you know, again, going back to this idea of taking the time to speak with your middle scores, share ideas with them, create game night’s game. That’s a fantastic way within a family, within the structure of the family to talk about, to develop language skills to develop. Very, very valuable turn. Taking skills. My turn, your turn, sometimes you’re going to win the game and sometimes you may not and it’s a really good opportunity to work on sportsmanship skills within the home where it’s safe and you can really teach your child how to go to work through when you don’t win or when you win and what are some, you know, appropriate things to say and do and those kinds of situations. So games are really a great way to develop language. Even watching a movie or a TV show or even a commercial for that matter. Having conversations with your kids, pausing the TV show and having them talk to you about, oh, and you can even ask a question like, what do you think is going to happen next? Or Oh my goodness, this just happened. Why did this happen? And have the kids share with you what they’re seeing and making, watching tv time, not so passive for them. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn a lot about their world and where they’re coming from and what their perceptions are and maybe some clarify some some questions or conversations that they might come up with that and they sometimes have the best conversations come out of talking about, you know, a TV episode or commercial that came up that was very intriguing or made you think about something. So just taking these opportunities to talk about things that are going on a very, very valuable and really helped to foster language development. Having kids help you organize a meal and follow recipe. That’s a great opportunity to practice following directions or practice measuring and math. I mean, twice it already happened to my son was fantastic following the Dunkin hines cake mix, but he left the step. They left the ingredients, they feel great and that’s the best way to learn that. Whoops. If you skip the step, it’s going to affect the way your cake is going to taste. So these are life opportunities, life lessons that are fantastic way to learn. Take your kids with you to the supermarket. Talk to them about what you’ve seen the supermarket talk about the difference between fruits and vegetables. You’d be surprised how many kids can’t even categorize fruits and vegetables. They kind of get confused and they just think they just appear in the house and they forget that there is a step that you go to the market and you pick it up and you get it from there and you could talk about like, you know, do scavenger hunt in the supermarket or get them to follow a list with you.

Any kind of opportunities to chat with them is, is wonderful. Sharing a book if they’re reading a book for school, this is a great opportunity for you also to buy the book and read it along with them. Um, and talk about what’s going on in the book. I think it’s these times of taking time out from what you’re doing as a parent and as a caregiver and really having and creating the structure for conversation at home is very, very valuable.

Sharon: Yeah. And it gives, it also sort of adds the value of giving them that one on one attention that they crave and they need and they want so badly.

Avivit: The emotional connections, we really the families that unit that you need to feel safe and you want to be able to express yourself and be able to share ideas. And it really helps to create great emotional connection. So when they are some bumps along the way and there are some issues that come up, it’s much easier to handle them because the unit is much stronger.

Sharon: Absolutely.

Avivit: Um, I just, I want to jump, just kinda touch on this idea because I have a lot of parents tell me, well, my kids, you know, they have great friends and what they, what do they do together with their friends? They will all fortnights and watching games and doing a lot of gaming. And I think it’s just something to keep in mind that even if that’s what they’re engaging in there still room for a parent to step in and Kinda create conversations around where the kids are. So it’s often times that we want to be driving the conversation and we want things to center around the things that we do and we wanted the kids to participate in our conversation, but it’s also born as a parent to kind of get into their world and learn from them a little bit what interests they have or the people they’re talking to with, what are their relationship, what are the connections. These types of things I think are great opportunities for kids to learn some valuable social connections. I know we think of comp with conversations is the typical way of socializing and a friend come over and we having affiliated but today’s payday for a little bit different. They just by the nature of the world that we live in, not everybody sees playdates as the ones kids come over to my house. Sometimes playdates are over the Internet or through games and other kinds of modalities. So just important to keep that in mind. And, and for some kids that’s a great option to meet like minded kids. Um, and it’s important for you as a parents who kind of be involved in that as well.

Sharon: Yeah, definitely. That makes, that’s a great point. Well thanks. I really appreciate everything that you’ve said. I think that it gives me personally and hopefully everyone listening, some good tips and different things to try. We are getting into holiday season and I think that a question on a lot of people’s minds are what are the best things that we can get for the people on our list in different age groups that will be more valuable in terms of their development then things that they may want but might not be as useful for them in their future.

Avivit: So I think this is a great time of the year and I’m so happy that, you know, have me talk about this. I think games, like I said before, that’s a great opportunity to create a lot of fun memories for our families. Um, and I’m actually going to start from, from the older kids and move my way back down to the little people. The older kids, what I find is very interesting, and I hear that from a lot of parents, the best predictor of whether or not the game will be used or not used, believe it or not, is whether or not the parent is interested in the game, so the game based on something that you would find interesting. It’s more likely that you guys will use the game and engage and have a family game night if it’s a game that you find a somewhat interesting versus a game that you find like, oh my goodness, there’s no way I’m going to be doing this right now. It’s just so boring and I’m not interested. So I think that’s something very much the parents should keep in mind. It’s not necessarily about the games and the kids would like. I think the kids will follow your lead. So if it’s a game that you are committed and passionate about and find interesting and fun, your child will follow and want to play with you as well. So I think that’s something kind of like out there that we should keep in mind and a lot of the companies now are kind of bringing back a lot of the older games that we used to play and I think it’s for that purpose exactly. It’s like to bring back the good memories that we have from the games, um, in order to increase the likelihood that the games will be used. Um, but having said that, depending on the age of the child, games that involve strategy planning, turn, taking conversation are always the preferred game, in my line of work. That’s the kind of games that we want to encourage, we want to bring attention to, um, and whether it’s monopoly or we, I absolutely loved the game Hedbanz. I think it’s fantastic. And guess who for that age group, it’s a great way to talk about details, to pay attention, to follow instructions, to take turns. And these games tends to not be very long, which is very much appreciated by families to, um, so I think it Kinda works both ways, um, and the kids really do enjoy it and just like, you really nailed it when you said kids want the undivided attention of their parents.

So if it’s at all possible, put away your devices for a little bit and just really sit there and engage with your kids. It really makes a big difference in their perception of what the experience was like rather than say, oh yeah, we played a game but my mom was texting the whole time or they’re expecting in between turns. So k to just sit and be able to play the game.

Sharon: Yeah. That’s a challenge for a lot of family. I totally understand it, but we’ve been trying to do that in our home too. What are some of the challenges that you think these parents are facing when you suggest game nights and different activities like this? What are the most frustrating points for them?

Avivit: More families that we speak to also tend to say, well, I can’t really play a board game because the other kids are jealous and they’re not playing and they’re too small or it just doesn’t work for them, and then at the end we ended up with a situation where nobody’s happy and then it becomes just this very uncomfortable and unpleasant experience. So it’s important to choose some game that, like I said, the parents are going to be invested in interested in playing as well as making sure that it meets child developmentally. You don’t want to go with the game that’s going to be way too hard and way too challenging and way too many rules. Depending on the kids’ age. It’s seven year olds can only hold on to a few rules at the time. If you’re going to start creating a game that involves so many rules, it makes a big difference, but I do have to say that working with siblings, it’s important when they start to play a game together and I always make my boys do that. I go in there and I make sure that they know what the rules are because if not halfway through the game, it’s like, no, but this is the rule, this is how you play this game and this is how you played. And each one starts to make up their own rules and then it becomes a very unpleasant experience to say the least. There’s a lot of yelling. So it’s important to kind of state at the very beginning of the game, okay, what are the rules that we need to follow? How are we playing this game so that there’s no miscommunication halfway through the game. Oh, but I didn’t know we’re doing it this way. I didn’t know I didn’t think that this is how we’re playing it or we’re playing a different kind of rule or different type of a game. So as long as we’re clear on the rules, it’s a great thing to do when you play with your kids and teach your kids to do it as well. Let’s talk about what are the rules. So we know what we’re, where we are. Um, it creates a lot less if reduce the conflicts for sure. That’s a great suggestion, like yeah, sometimes I have to remember that, but I’ve been doing it more and more and I have to tell you it’s made game time a lot more pleasant.

Sharon: Yeah. And you don’t think of it if. Especially if it’s a game they play often, you just don’t think of it because, oh well they know how to play this game, but you’re right. When they’re not winning, they tend to come up with different rules.

Avivit: Absolutely. It’s incredible how quickly they can come up with those rules. It’s like, that’s not what we did last week. Yes. I’m telling you, that’s how they play it in my school. So you kind of want to just kinda. Because again, the idea is you want to keep it fun. The moment it’s going to become a confrontational, unpleasant time, it’s less likely the family will do it. So we want to try to reduce all those other things that can happen to make sure that when you are devoting the time to the game, it’s really about having a good time together. Um, and working constructively on issues rather than like, you know, back building and now creating rules and then nobody’s happy.

Sharon: And what would be a realistic suggestion from you on how often there should be a family game night or something like this?

Avivit: Listen, I’m going to tell you this. There isn’t really an expectation of how many times I would say at the very, very least once a week will be amazing, on a weekend, preferably if possible or you know, during the weeknight. But I get that it’s very hard to schedule and it’s very hard to meet everybody’s needs. But either you can either do one night, one time can be a game night and one time it could be a movie nights. It doesn’t always have to be a game night for every, you know, every week. So you can vary it. So sometimes we watch movies that are the classics. So we have our kids watch these movies that we grew up on and clearly are not showing anywhere. And then we make sure to download them and have them watch them. And it’s, it’s very funny to see their reactions to the movie and, and even the special effects and you know, Jaws to them was hysterical and I remember watching it and being petrified so it, there are different and it’s a great opportunity to kind of talk about our experiences and bringing that and sharing that with them. So teaching them how to share their feelings and experiences and stuff like that. The more we model those things, the more likely it is that they will learn how to do it.

Sharon: Yeah. It’s actually, it’s funny that you say that. We, we’ve been watching full house with the girls and we watch it on Hulu and they’re not allowed to go ahead in episodes. Right. So they can watch the ones we’ve seen if they have tv time and they want to, but they can’t move ahead and we often stop it and talk about it and just even the reaction to what life was like back then and how, you know, and we talk about all of it. We tell them how when we were watching we had to wait a whole week for the new episode. And we couldn’t fast forward and if you miss the episode like you missed it, you know, and just those nuances are so lost on them today that it’s really fun to bring them into our world’s a little bit.

Avivit: Absolutely a great way to talk about comparing or contrasting what was it like in 1998 versus in 2018, you know, those are the things that you can incorporate so many language skills. Just comparing and contrasting and talking about these things and you’ve now did a whole activity with your child and you talked about things and you introduce them to new vocabulary and your experiences and you’ve made them think about what things were like, um, all great skills that we take for granted. But these kinds of conversations bring out this type of this type of language that is so beneficial. So then when a child needs to write an essay about comparing, contrasting, it’s so much easier for them because they have, they’ve already done it verbally, they’d done it orally. They kinda can then understand what the teacher is explaining in a way that is much more realistic to them than just what is comparing and contrasting on when you need to write an essay. So doing these type of activities really helped to solidify a lot of the academic skills that are so necessary. Um, and unfortunately by the time kids enter school, if they’re not exposed to it, it makes it so much harder to understand what the teacher is talking about.

Sharon: Yeah, that’s true. So what are the toys that you would recommend for this holiday season for kids who maybe are too young to really play a board game?

Avivit: I love Legos and I am not a spokesperson for Legos and I hate the Lego’s when I step on them in the middle of the night and I want to scream that somebody left a lego piece somewhere. But I think it is such a great opportunity for kids to create and build and, and really develop skills that I think are fantastic. And I don’t necessarily talk, you know, there’s some kids who love to follow the instructions and then create these structures and they never take them apart because that’s it they’re done. And then a lot of kids will create the structures, they followed all the instructions, which was great, and then they will rebuild something else and both are wonderful. One is for following directions. The lego I sometimes will at these books and I give up before I even attempt at following the directions and then creating your own structures and I think is a fabulous way to develop some of these skills. So Dress Up I think is wonderful. Having kids be with you side by side in the kitchen is a great way to develop some skills. Um, so all those things give us opportunities to talk and to, to chat. Play dough, as messy as he gets is wonderful and it really helps, imaginative play, open play. It’s not following any rules or any structure. It gives the kid an opportunity to develop their own rules and structures. And I think that’s really very, very important.

Sharon: Yeah, and a reminder that in order to develop this, the language part, you’re sort of talking through the whole process with them.

Avivit: Absolutely. Leg learning play is really all about learning. When you play, you’re learning a skill. So for parents, when a parent sees a kid play, that is their opportunity to really act out a lot of their knowledge and a lot of their information. So it’s really so critical to allow time in the day for play and imaginative play and open play. Um, and I think that’s something that parents really can, can help foster. Just giving the time to sit down and do their own thing with their games would be wonderful. It’s not about buying new toys every season. It’s recycling some of the old toys, you know, when you get a lot of toys at the beginning of the year, put a few of them aside and then recycle them. A child, you should not be walking to somebody’s house and feel like it seems a Toys r US store in the house. Kids don’t need a lot of toys. They just need a lot of opportunities to engage with things around their environment, but he doesn’t have to be a toy that comes in a box. Um, and I think that’s one of the things, I mean oftentimes parents will call us and say, you know, my kid is just so inattentive. He doesn’t seem to be sticking to anything. He doesn’t seem to be able to play with one thing at a time. And I, I walked into their homes and it’s the entire toys r us, you know, toy aisle in their house. And I, I look at the parents and I say, if you just put away 75 percent of what you have, you’ll still have plenty to play with. It’s not about the quantity, it’s you really want to leave only a few things out and available to them. Let them engage with it, let them play with it, let them interact with it. It’s not about having a million toys. It’s about what do they do with the toys that they have.

Sharon: Yeah. I love that. And then for the babies.

Avivit: We loved puzzles, you know, the, the wooden puzzles that even the three piece puzzle that they can kind of play and match is great. The pop up toys and they hit and something pops up from it. The cause and effect toys are wonderful. Something lights up when I touch. It’s a great way to reinforce learning. Um, what else do we do with babies? A lot of opportunities to be on their tummies when they’re really babies and play on their tummies. It really helps with the whole body and their sensory systems developing and it teaches them a lot of great motor skills. So tummy time is really, really, really crucial and it’s crucial for speech development and language development as well. So we really want to give the kids an opportunity to be on their tummies and look at things from that perspective of being on their tummies of course, always monitors, always watched carefully, but we want to just give them the opportunity to be on their tummies. Um, so definitely I would say that something that would be very, very valuable.

Sharon: Can you explain for a second how the Tummy Time helps speech development?

Avivit: So first and foremost, it creates the motor skills and unnecessary and the muscle tone that is necessary to hold the head up. Um, there’s a lot of sensation in a lot of learning that takes place from a baby rubbing their, their cheeks and their faces into a mat and lifting their heads up. So things along those lines that our people don’t think of them necessarily as an opportunity to develop language skills, but by being on their tummies and strengthening their neck muscles in their back muscles and their shoulders and their arms and pulling themselves up. They’re learning about their environment from that point of view. And it helps to also hold their head up so it helps them to then be able to use their, their muscles better. And when it comes to speaking that their muscles are stronger. We see a lot less issues when it comes to drinking and eating and feeding issues and articulation issues and coordination with babies that spend quality time on their tummies rather than the babies who are more on their backs.

Sharon: That’s so interesting.

Avivit: Yeah. We really see a lot of correlation between their, their overall development as well as their time on their tummies and allowing them time to play also, which is great. Like you don’t always have to be right there talking to them, but giving them an opportunity to do their own exploration with the toys and the games as of course while you’re there monitoring, but just to give them an opportunity so they’re learning to kind of figure out for themselves how to engage in how to interact.

Sharon: That’s great. So I’m going to have a list of specific toys that are in the categories that Avivit mentioned and I think that the, it really does help when you’re trying to think of what to get these little ones on your list to get them something that you know will be useful for them for their development. Um, and I’m sure the parents will be thankful for that as well. Um, and I guess, um, as we end this podcast episode Avivit, how would the audience find you, um, if they would like to connect with you on a, on a separate level?

Avivit: Absolutely. First of all, again, thank you for this amazing opportunity. I’ve so enjoyed the questions and this, this conversations can go on for hours. I think both of you and I have a lot, a lot that we can share, so it’s been really very interesting. Our website is GreatSpeech.com and in there there is a tab on the top right, you can request a complimentary consultation. I’d be more than happy to meet with anybody or if there any questions you can email me at  Avivit@greatspeech.com. I’m happy to always answer questions. Um, if you have any questions on the podcast itself, you can even, I’m sure put a comment in the, in your website and I’d be happy to, to answer. So any which way that helps you guys find me, I’m happy to speak with you again Greatspeech.com. And um, you know, our goal from, from our perspective, my goal is to help children and adults really reach their maximum potential and communicate as best as they can. So anything that I can do to help bring that to life is what I enjoy doing the most. So any questions, big or small, I’m happy to answer.

Sharon: Thank you so much and thank you so much for being here.

Avivit: Thank you for this opportunity.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Raiseology podcast! Head over to www.Raiseology.com where you’ll find plenty of, you’ve got this resources for parents and any links or tools mentioned in today’s show. Be sure to hit subscribe on your podcatcher so that you can listen to the next episode, the minute it’s out. Until next time, have an empowered week.

Meet Your Mentor

Sharon is a general pediatrician, loving wife and mother to 4 daughters.

 After a decade of practicing general pediatrics and working with families, she realized there often wasn’t enough time while tending to children’s medical needs to help parents in the way that would be most helpful in shaping their children’s futures.

 The Raiseology Program was developed to teach parents how to raise their children with the love and authority necessary to promote resilience and responsibility.

Sharon’s experience with hundreds of families as well as her own help her meet you where you are on your parenting journey to help you make it what you want it to be.

Copyright © 2019 Raiseology | Privacy Policy

Join the Mailing List

This site and the information contained therein is for educational purposes only. This site is not a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. The use of this site does not create a doctor-patient relationship.

Your privacy is important to us so we want to let you know. This site uses tracking technology, such as cookies and pixels to enhance your user experience and provide social media features. You can find out more here.

This site and the information contained therein is for educational purposes only. This site is not a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. The use of this site does not create a doctor-patient relationship.

Your privacy is important to us so we want to let you know. This site uses tracking technology, such as cookies and pixels to enhance your user experience and provide social media features. You can find out more here.

Copyright © 2019 Raiseology | Privacy Policy

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This