Parentese: Why Is It So Fabulous For Your Child’s Language Development?
Parentese is typically described as a slower, more melodic speech that parents use to speak with their babies! But, it’s not just for babies! And it’s definitely not baby talk. Young children in preschool also benefit from hearing speech spoken at a slower, more melodic rhythm. Why? Because when we speak just a little more slowly and with a little bit more emphasis in our language, it actually attracts a child’s attention and allows them to hear each individual word that you’re saying.
One study on Parentese found that speaking at a slower pace and with a bit more melody in our speech to babies who were between 11 to 14 months of age impacted later language development- as last as 36 months of age! Check out the study here
I encourage parents of toddlers and preschoolers to speak just a little more slowly (not like a turtle, ok) but with just a tad bit more emphasis in your speech and a bit of melody. Your child will cue into your language more (unless you’re asking them to do something they absolutely don’t want to do) and will pick up more language. Good job, parents!