Baby talk must start naturally


Remark of week from Sidney

By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key



Dear Grandparenting: I have my adorable grandson five days a week while his mom works. He is 13 months old. I talk to my grandson all the time when I babysit. I know he likes it because he coos and babbles and smiles and giggles. My little man never gives me any trouble.

I have this one goal in mind. It would tickle me to death if his first few words include something that sounds like “Grandma.”

I sit there with him and say “Grandma this” and “Grandma that.” I keep waiting for him to say something back but nothing doing. So what am I doing wrong? Ginger Drew, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Dear Ginger: Some portion of our grandparent brain understands your desire to have your grandchild say “Grandma.” And while that might float your boat, any number of pediatric therapists would take you to task. Teaching your grandson to become a verbal one-trick pony risks retarding his verbal development.

Most toddlers begin to verbalize some basic wants and needs between 9 and 12 months. Girls are generally quicker learners than boys.

The average child speaks around 300 words at age 2. These are the building blocks, the first words many children will utter: All gone, baby, ball, banana, bath, bye-bye, book, car, cookie, daddy, eye, hi/hello, hot, juice, milk, mommy, more, no/yes, shoe, thank you. Their vocabulary doubles in size around 30 months, and sentences begin to spill out at age 3.

There’s abundant research on “baby talk,” that soft and slow singsong cadence many adults adopt when talking to toddlers. Child specialists call it “parentese,” although we prefer “grandparentese.”

While some professionals prefer using normal speech, the exaggerated nature of a singsong cadence has been found to help infants discern discrete sounds. Sounds silly, but it works.

Labeling objects — “This is a stroller” or “See this flower” — helps, too, but labeling is most effective when it describes what the child is focused on at that moment, instead of redirecting their attention to something else.

Here’s our last word on your grandson’s first words. They will arrive when he’s ready, not when you are.

GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK

Jim Johnson, Sidney, Ohio, asked grandson J.J. what he wanted for his birthday present.

“Maybe some nice sneakers,” replied J.J. “But don’t get me any gab. Uncle Bert already did that.”

“Gab!” said Jim. “What’s that?”

“I don’t know, but Uncle Bert keeps saying I sure have the gift of gab.”

** ** **

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/04/web1_Hardies_grandparenting-fz-1.jpg
Remark of week from Sidney

By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.