The Art (and Science) of Parent Talk
“The world talks to the mind. Parents speak more intimately—they talk to the heart.”
– HAIM GINOTT
Do you talk to your baby differently than you talk to other adults? If you’re like most parents, you absolutely do—and very differently at that. The playful, exaggerated style of speech that you use to talk with your baby is called “parentese.” Parentese is distinguished by: • Slower speech patterns. • Raised speech pitch by…
Parentese isn’t the same as baby talk, which is basically made-up words. Instead, parentese is actually tailored to help your baby learn! Scientific research confirms that parentese enables babies to more easily distinguish the sounds and rhythms of their native language. Babies actually prefer parentese to the kind of speech we use with adults; they…
One of the best strategies to help your baby learn to speak is to take the time to slow down the conversation. Give your baby time to respond, verbally and nonverbally. Imitate her sounds and expressions along with your own words. Imagine taking your preverbal baby to the market. You can use parentese to help…
Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Kuhl, P. (2000). The scientist in the crib: What early learning tells us about the mind. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.