Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children Revised

Responding to Baby Talk

  • The central role of the parent is not to push massive amounts of language into the baby’s ears; rather, the central role is to notice what’s coming from the baby’s mouth, and responding accordingly. How a parent responds right in the moment seems to be the most powerful mechanism pulling a child from babble to fluent speech. Another important thing is to move or twist the objects they are talking about. This so-called “motionese” is important up to fifteen months after which children no longer need motion or can benefit from it. Hearing the same words from different speakers also helps children learn words faster.
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