Dear Little Ones who aren’t getting iContact,
Is your grown-up one of the selfish ones who takes out their iPhone* looks at it themselves and then puts it away without letting you have a go. How rude! Imagine if it were a toy. And I quote “we need to share our toys. If you won’t let him play with it then you can’t play with it either.” Sound familiar?
If you can’t play on their phone then they shouldn’t be playing on it either. Instead they should be talking to you and giving you eye contact, not iContact.
I’ve made a protest poster for you to print out and put up on the fridge.
Fig 1 – Note that the baby in the iContact photo is in the bin and is eating Beef flavoured Hula hoops. This might sound amazing to a baby but trust me, it’s not. Salt and Vinegar is where you want to go with Hula Hoops.
And actually, getting them to look at you when they’re talking to you is part of our grand plan of you growing up to be that kid who reads for pleasure. Stage 1 of learning how to read is learning how to talk. Infact, those in the know have a saying.
“Literacy is built on Language”
Put simply, a good chinwag with you is laying the foundations for you reading which will make you clever which will mean you get a good job and you can pay for the beers when you’re continuing that chinwag with your parents down the pub! They invest their time now …. They get free beer later. What’s not to love.
This isn’t to say that you need to be a chatterbox. You may be the strong silent type. Regardless, it’s all going in.
But it’s not enough to just talk to you. They need to PUT THEIR PHONE DOWN and LOOK YOU IN THE EYE. There is proper scientific proof that your grown up making eye contact whilst talking to you will lead to you having superior language skills (Rechele Brooks and Andrew Mettzoff?)
So you need to deploy full toddler cunning to change iContact into Eye Contact. Top tips.
- Be cute – seriously never fails. If you use singing to be cute just sing the song once though. You cease to be cute on the third repetition.
- Be helpful – get them to tell you stuff like so that you can repeat it back to them when they’ve forgotten it. Important stuff like “I’m putting the housekeys here” or my “Pin number is 6666”. My personal favourite – “This is mummies glass!”
- Be naughty – if 1 and 2 fail then there is no option. Hopefully your parents will realise that the reason you’re playing up is because they aren’t giving you the Eye Contact you need to afford to buy them beer in the future. You’re the selfless one here. Don’t let them forget that.
This child successfully deployed point 3 and received a lot of eye contact. Soooo much eye contact. Well done her!
Remember this isn’t about you. It’s about them having a comfortable retirement. After all, the way things are going it’s highly likely you’ll be the ones paying for it!
Lot’s of Love
*(or any phone, but the joke works best if we stick with iPhone)
NOTE TO GROWN-UPS
Eye contact with your baby not only helps to strengthen the bond between you but does indeed lead to improved language. They learn to “read your face” at around 10 months – they can only do that if they can see it!
Literacy is indeed based on Language and this is why the EYFS focuses on Language for the 1st 2 years and then adds in Literacy. It makes sense – Literacy in it’s purest sense is the ability to read and write a spoken language. The better you are at speaking the language the better you’ll be at writing and reading it.
It can be hard to talk to a baby, especially when you’re not getting much back, but stick with it. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying, just say it! They won’t judge you and I promise you it’s all going in and making a huge difference.