Some ways language and literacy can help children:
- Emotional regulation: Some children may bite or hit when they're frustrated or emotional. They are having a hard time asking for what they need, or telling us something. Adults can help develop language or identifying the emotions a child is going through to reduce biting or hitting behaviors.
- Teaching certain words that are related to a child's experience. A child is always looking around and seeing new objects
- "Name it to tame it." Labeling emotions can reduce neural firing or emotionality in our brains. When we identify emotions ourselves or for children, we help develop a child's emotional vocabulary as well as help a child feel understood.
- Labeling two emotions to a situation. It can help a child understand that sometimes we will feel conflicting emotions at the same time.
- Empathy: Hearing stories or looking at facial cues can help a child connect with others. When the verbal language isn't there, looking at facial cues and body signs can help a child connect with others. "Mommy or Daddy said to do this when someone is (emotion), etc."
- For the long-term, language and literacy can help a child increase confidence in learning. There's social comparisons and pressures to do well, but it can be noticeable when a child can't read as well as their peers. It affects performance in class and willingness to try again. Struggles with reading can lead to arguments at home to practice. So, practice early on! Pair positive experiences with attempts to read (story time at bedtime), even looking through picture books.
- Learn vocabulary words just for fun! Families are busy, so try whenever you have a few minutes. You can have words ready during bath time, a word or two during dinner, have books around the house so they're readily available.