Saturday, May 29, 2010

How high is your voice when speaking to toddlers?

... because my voice goes REALLY HIGH when I'm speaking to our Little Man...

But I just read this at

Speaking in high pitched tones as when they were babies "can impede in their language development in learning how to really talk. Toddlers need to be spoken to like a real person and not ‘like a dog’ anymore. They are smarter than we give them credit for and absorb everything that is said to them. This is a sensitive period for language in children so take advantage of it and model it properly.".
I'm not sure if they mean simply the high-pitched tone or also speaking in 'motherese' to de widdle wums.

I definitely never spoke in fractured English, but my voice at times can reach decibels only heard by dogs ... I think I'll start using more of a normal tone with our Little Man now, except when I greet him in the morning. If you can't go high then, well there's no hope for the world.


Abigail Badillo said...

Mine tends to, too. It's just sort of an automatic response. I would be worried about it, but then I think about other mammals - they "talk" differently to their babies as well, and the babies still grow up with the appropriate "language" for their species. It seems kind of instinctive to use baby talk. But I do make an effort to speak "normally" to my daughter as well. I think part of that adjustment happens naturally - as the child grows older (as in, past 6 months or so) and it becomes obvious that they are beginning to really understand, and then the parents begin to adopt more "normal" language towards them.

Sarah said...

I think you are right Abigail. Once you see that they understand, the higher pitch does seem to become redundant. Sarah