Before babies learn to talk in a real language like English, they babble and coo, playing with sound. That's baby talk, something that sounds similar all over the world. But they get good fast.
Of course, it depends on the situation, but according to experts, most babies are able to say a few simple words such as "mama" and "dadda" around their first birthday. Even more, they know what they're saying! By the time they're 3, babies expand their vocabulary rapidly, and "make-believe" play spurs an understanding of symbolic and abstract language like "now," feelings like "sad," and spatial concepts like "in." They also learn how to scare the poo out of their parents.
When Dan Schreiber shared a particularly creepy thing his child told him, moms and dads quickly expanded his tweet into a strangely funny thread, full of lines and concepts you'd think exist only in horror movies. Here are some of the best!
Former Editor-in-Chief turned parenting blogger, the woman who runs Motherhood: The Real Deal and 40 Now What, Talya Stone, told Bored Panda that there are a variety of ways in which parents can encourage and teach their kids to speak. "A good place to start is asking them open-ended questions and actually being present to hear out their answers," Stone said.
"Kids are notorious for clamming up and pretending like they have nothing going on in their minds, but parents can encourage them to open up by asking them who, what, where, why questions. Imagine you are a TV presenter interviewing them if that helps! Active listening really helps which is when you reflect or repeat back what your child is saying and what they may be feeling to make sure you understand - especially when they come out with oddball statements included in this article!"
But whether kids are giving their parents the creeps or cracking them up, people outside the family can have a difficult time understanding the little Shakespeares without a translation from mom and dad.
"I think we (the parents) get what our kids are saying because we share a deep connection — they are already a little bit of us. We also have a vested interest to understand them and be on their side, they are our kids after all. Also, parents have a very good way of humoring their children, which can seem to an outsider like we know what they are saying (when really we don't!)," Stone revealed.
Just like these pictures, Talya Stone highlighted that children say all sorts of strange things, many of which may not be true.
"Kids like to try things on when it comes to words, phrases, and ideas. So if a child says something creepy to you, try not to take it too seriously, but at the same time, it's important not to mock them and hear them out," she said.
In fact, you should not criticize their wrong words. Instead, help them say it properly — for example, if a baby points to a cat and says "Ca!" say: "Yes, it's a cat." For more tips on how to help your sweetie talk, check out this page.