Get Down, Get Down

I know that at first glance this post may seem like I’m re-writing the post about the Tell Me Face, and in some ways I am. I am trying to fill pages with you as parents about your book of language development and as we’ve discussed, when filling pages, repetition is key. Also though, there are nuances to these concepts that can be easily missed. So in order to not let anything pass you by, let’s be very clear.

In the Tell Me Face post I alluded to one of those nuances of a successful page-filling interaction when I asked the following questions:

Where is your face when your child is trying to tell you something?

Is it in the same room?

Is it on their level?

What is that level?

So now let’s hash out that nuance by focusing on getting down.

In order to get down, put your face on the same level as your child’s. If your child is standing, kneel. If your child is sitting down and playing on the floor, lay down on your side. If your child is sitting in the highchair for a meal or a snack, pull up a chair. If your child is sitting on the couch, sit on the floor. After all, the Tell Me Face is certainly most effective when in plain view. In addition, you being on your child’s level reiterates that message of, “I hear you”, and “what you have to say is important to me”.

I know it may seem silly or obvious, but if you have to think of how to get on your child’s level in the middle of your interaction, you probably won’t do it. We all interact with our children so intuitively, and while nothing I’m telling you is rocket science, it can be difficult to implement these small changes in our daily lives.

So, let’s plan it out ahead of time and take out the on our feet thinking part.

Your homework then is to write down (most favorably in the comments section of this post) one time when you are going to get on your child’s level and how.

I’ll give you the first one.

Snack: My daughter in her high chair. Me in front of her in a chair. (“Face time” for real).

  1. Heidi says:

    One of our very new favorite places to “get down” is under the Christmas tree. In the two days it’s been up, we’ve had half a dozen good chats about the tree, the season, etc. just laying on our sides under the glow of the lights. I’m sure we’ll be doing that again tomorrow and I can’t wait!

  2. Shawn says:

    I realize that I talk to my daughter a lot from the kitchen when I’m cooking and she’s in the living room. I’m going to set up a spot for her to play in the kitchen tonight to get us in the same room. I also talk to her a lot when I’m pushing the stroller, so she definitely can’t see my face. I should try to walk on the side of her some times instead of always behind, and lean over with my Tell Me Face when she’s responding.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Shawn! I think it’s a great idea to put your daughter closer to you if you can, but if you are cooking it’s probably difficult to really be on the same level, focused on her, and having a back and forth interaction, unless your daughter is up on a chair or stool and helping you cook. If you don’t want an assistant in the kitchen, that’s ok! We sometimes have to do things like cook and we can instead do our face time interactions while we eat dinner or after dinner while we play!

  3. Lorrie says:

    My Eli and I have great ‘conversations’ while he’s in the bathtub and I’m sitting on the toilet (with the lid closed, of course). Though I know he probably won’t be able to say it correctly, I think ‘splash’ will be a fun word to help him learn — as he’s just learned to do it. This one he can definitely experience. Should I work on an easier to say word at this time? He’s 15 months old.

    • Kim says:

      Lorrie, that’s a great question! It’s good to think about how easy or difficult a word may be for your child to say, but not to get too hung up on it. Basically, you have two options. You can work on splash because you know he’s very motivated by it and it will be easy for you to fill the page, and just know that what he says back to you may not be as clear as what you say to him. He may say something like, “paa”. Or, you can try for another word that may be just as motivating but a little easier to say. Something like “bubbles”. He still will probably say something like, “buh-buh” at first though. Is that helpful?