Everyone has a story about the moment they knew their significant other was going to be more than just a few dates. For me, the moment came on our third date. My boyfriend took me to the planetarium and we talked about what we would bring if we were forced to move to Mars. It was a silly and stupid and perfect. We had good banter.
Banter is good for not only daters; it’s good for young children. This Psychology Today article references a study from Rice University that found daily informal conversations, bantering, helped to “expand children's knowledge and skills, and had lasting effects on their performance later in life.”
Banter is a great way to help a child build their language. As the article explains, “By talking to your child about your neighbors, the weather, your weekend plans, the funny thing that Grandpa said, the construction project across the street, a dream you had last night, the phase of the moon, a trip you took once, or a silly song you learned, you grow your child's vocabulary.”
By talking to them about the problems or questions that come up through out the day, you are helping your child with their problem-solving skills. And by sharing your embarrassing situations, you're teaching them to laugh when something like that happens to them in their lives. All in all, talking about nothing in particular is good for you and your child.
The article offers some sample banter topics, like what’s going on in your neighborhood, and what you’re grateful about today. It says, “The best banter is a compelling combination of asking questions, listening, laughing, and bringing up topics.”
Bonus info: The study from Rice University also found that 86 to 98 percent of the words used by a child by the age of three are learned from their parents’ vocabularies. Which might explain why my boyfriend’s first word, much to the embarrassment of his mother, was Pepsi.