Keep the Conversation Going with Your Toddler

Speaking—and listening—to toddlers can help their cognitive development.

Keep the Conversation Going with Your Toddler

A recent study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, noted that conversations between children and adults can raise the child’s IQ by an average of 14 to 27 percent.

The point the researchers were making is that toddlers between 18 and 24 months of age who take more turns speaking in a back-and-forth dialogue with adults, even though they may not be using real words, develop higher “expressive vocabulary scores nine to 14 years later.” (The researchers looked at three age groups: 2 to 17 months; 18 to 24 months; and over 25 months.)

So when you’re with your child (they did not make a distinction between boys and girls), put down the cell phone (and take it out of your child’s hands too!) and have a ton of discussions with your little one, especially during this very powerful developmental stage in his or her life.

Remember, we told you a few weeks ago that when a second-grade teacher asked students which modern gizmo they wished had never been created, nearly 25 percent said they hated their mom’s cell phone and wished it didn’t exist. So, talk with your toddlers and see what they have to say.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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