Raising Children

Your Baby Is A Listener

This is a part of a series of articles based on the book 'How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability' by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers Hill

Enhancing existing listener skills

A listener is usually a sociable child, who has good language ability and a large vocabulary. He is good at following directions and loves reading. As a result, a listener will make friends easily and should do well in school. Hence, to develop listener skills, parents essentially have to provide plenty of aural stimulation. The obvious thing to do would be to provide your child with noise-making toys like rattles, bells and musical toys that play tunes at the press of a button. Parents can let the radio play softly in the nursery and play cassettes of nursery rhymes. Parents should talk to their babies, describing their actions, asking them questions, pretending to interpret baby gurgles and sounds as answers as if conducting a conversation. Parents should sing to their babies and imitate the sounds they make. This will encourage the baby to make more sounds. Parents should talk to their babies identifying everyday sounds like the doorbell, the whirring of the washing machine, the ringing of the telephone, etc. Babies learn a lot by imitation. Parents should buy their babies a toy telephone and pretend to have a conversation. The babies will soon emulate the give and take of conversation even if it is only childish babble. Parents should be more animated when reading or telling stories to their children. They should change their voices for different characters and act out the story almost as if it were a play. 

Developing looker skills in listener infants

These tips are for babies whose inborn learning style is through aural stimulation. To make such children more receptive to visual stimulation, the parents must try to present information visually as far as possible. The infants should be made to realize the importance of 'seeing.' Parents should point out different objects at home and while driving and name them, exhorting the baby to 'see.' Parents can play games with their babies that will help reinforce the importance of sight. They can play peek-a-boo with their children, a 'now you see it, now you don't game,' hiding their faces, the child's face or a toy behind their hands or a blanket and then making it reappear. Parents can also cover their babies' eyes and ask them, "Where are your eyes?" or "Where are mummy's eyes?" Parents should act particularly surprised and delighted when they see something special. It would also be a good idea for parents to take their babies outdoors so that they can enjoy the sun and the fresh air and be exposed to a whole new world of sights and sounds. Attach a mirror to the side of the baby's crib so he will have something to look at besides the ceiling. Providing children with glow-in-the-dark toys and playing with them using a jack-in-the-box also enhances their looker skills.

Developing mover skills in listener infants

Touch and movement play a key role in developing mover skills. Parents should attempt to maintain as much physical contact with their babies as possible - hug them, rock them, pat them, caress them. Following the same principle, the best way to carry babies when going out is in a baby sling or front carrier. A large, lightweight, multi-coloured ball is a good toy. The baby can roll it, kick it, and bounce it. Allow your baby to move around freely outside the confines of a playpen or a walker. Get into a wading pool with your child and talk about the fun you're having and the toys you are playing with. 

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