Start…then Switch!


Start then Switch!

Some things never change…and some things do!


I have been to some baby showers lately and have been asked to write down good advice for the mama. Of course my “expertise” is simply raising two boys, and the good Lord knows that I did not do a “perfect” job. I do believe we all learned together.

Other than the obvious “love them with all your hear” stuff, this practical advice is the answer to the “mothering” and “teaching” equation.

The emphasis…..TALK to your babies.
The emphasis….LISTEN to your teens.

There are scientific studies that show how important talking to your babies is for language development, IQ and socialization. There are several articles:

…just to list a few.


There are also articles on listening to your teen, again…I have listed a couple:


Those first three years are so important. And I have always said that the teen years are just as important. Could it be because the emphasis on what you should do as a parent changes a bit?

As a former special education teacher, I can assure you that talking to your baby is of the utmost importance. I am not saying that the lack of it causes a disability or keeps a disability from occurring, but I am saying it was always pretty obvious when a parent had been actively involved in their child’s communication process.

The same holds true of listening to your teen. Once again, teaching this age allowed me to see how important listening was to them. Most of my students needed me to listen to their issues throughout the years. And surprisingly enough, they often wanted advice.

How do you talk to a baby? If you are a “talker” like me it is not difficult. Outline your day, read your Bible out loud, sing songs. They will interact with you. It is also a good way to keep track of proper development.

How do you listen to a teen? When you pick them up from an activity, don’t ask a thousand questions, wait patiently for them to begin. As they come in from an evening, wait on the couch, offer a snack and wait for the conversation to begin. Teens don’t want to be interrogated. Keep that line of communication open.

You will still “listen” to your baby and you will still “talk” to your teen. Just be mindful of both. Tune out the internet and social media and tune in to your child…you might just see a difference.

“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:19

“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” (Proverbs 17:27).

“He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame.” (Proverbs 18:13).


Good news! When they become adults…you will be able to talk and listen!!

2014-07-26 17.19.56

~Be blessed



*pixabay, NIV, Webmd, Pschologytoday, Focusonthefamily, Scholastic*

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