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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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When the Wrong Way Sounds So Cute!

Week 13 Speech Development Tip:  Avoid repeating a word incorrectly because it sounds cute.  You don't want to encourage incorrect pronunciation.  If you have a nick name for an object that is different.  For example, calling a favorite blanket a "blankie" is fine, but calling it a "bankie" is not.

Our children grow up so fast, don't they?  I remember when my children were babies and life seemed so overwhelming.  My friend, Debbie, who's children were all grown and out of the house, gave me this advice.  "Don't wish this time away.  They'll all be in school before you know it."  She was right.  My youngest just finished kindergarten this year.  Some days we want to speed things up and pass through the sleepless nights and long days.  But, at the same time, we want to hold on to our kids and not let them grow up. 

When our children are just learning to talk, words don't always come out perfectly.  In fact, new words often miss beginning or ending sounds or get rather mixed up.  As toddlers, they do sound cute.   If your eight year old is still talking this way, however, it's not so cute.  When an adult repeats incorrect speech, the toddler hears the word incorrectly and then thinks that his speech is correct. 

Does this mean we need to make a big deal out of it, everytime our kids mispronounce a word?  Of course not!  Instead, repeat what your child says correctly.  Here's an example, Isaiah says, "my cah boke!"  You don't want to reinforce the mispronunciation, by saying "Uh- oh, is your cah boke?" You also don't want to discourage your child, by saying "No Isaiah, you mean your CARRRR BRRROKE!"  Instead, simply say, "Uh-oh, your car broke?" (emphasizing the /r/ sounds).

So, if it's hard for you to see your kids grow up so quickly, remember that "cute talk" by writing down their phrases or video them talking!

For a personal example of correcting "cute talk", read my first blog post, "Where did 'K-butt' go?"

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