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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read a post where the poster said that if you use the child's name instead of saying "you", the child will have problems with correct use of pronouns. Is this true? My dd doesn't talk yet, but I do this all the time. Like instead of saying "Do you want something to eat?" I say "Does (dd's name) want something to eat?" Is that bad? BTW, she is 14 months old.
 

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Not sure if that is true or not but I figure they work it out eventually. My DD who is 27 months old has pretty good language skills (i.e. regularly forms complete and accurate sentences, tells short stories, has a great vocabulary, etc.) but still often calls herself "you." It did worry us a bit in the beginning but now it cracks us up. We used the correct pronoun and that is what she labeled herself with -- you. Just in the past few weeks she has started replacing "you" with her first name instead. I don't think I have ever once heard her say "I" yet. I assume it will come with time. And then we will miss it. Just like how she used to only say "bow wow" for dog and "meaow" for cat, even when she knew many other words. Right now she is getting down the concept of "mine" and "my" however. She likes to say "my mommy" or "my toy."

IMO I would just keep doing what you are doing -- use the correct grammatical structure. She'll figure it out over time. They learn from modeling us, but I agree that pronouns are tricky. Have fun watching her learn and experiment with language.
 

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I try to talk to dd like I would any other person as much as possible. Only if I'm being silly would I say to my dh "does Eric want some ice cream?" I might do it once in awhile... but not every day. Same thing talking to dd.

-Angela
 

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From what I've read, pronouns are the hardest and most confusing part of the english language to learn, so I think it's important to use them correctly, especially with young kids just learning to talk. I'm sure she would eventually learn to speak correctly, but it will be much easier on her if she has an accurate example. The english language is so complicated already, why make it harder for her? And I agree with Angela, I talk to my son like I would any other person. He understands much more than he can actually say, so "baby talk" is totally inappropriate for developing language skills, IMO. That's not to say I don't act silly with him once in a while, but day-to-day, I make a point to use correct grammar (I didn't always use the best grammar before I had him).

My MIL always says, "Oh him's so cute, him's so precious" and I just *cringe*. But she doesn't see him often so I let him slide. DH started saying that crap the way she does when DS was born and I put a stop to that immediately. I don't want my son to talk like that. It's weird.


Anybody remember the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine ran into a guy at the gym who kept talking in the third person, only she didn't know it and thought he was talking about someone else and ended up agreeing to go out with the guy by accident?
All this talk about pronouns made me think of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. I'm still not sure how I feel about this, I'll have to think about it some more. And yes, I saw that Seinfeld episode.
 

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I agree...using your dc's name in a sentence instead of the "proper pronoun" wont mean they never learn to use pronouns correctly, but I think it's important to model conversational norms from an early age.

When I speak with my 16mo dd I often use a more "emotional" voice ("oh goody! let's put on our shoes and go for a walk! Huzzah for putting on our shoes! Bounce Bounce!"
), but I use the same grammer/vocab as I would with my husband or co-workers.
 

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I wouldn't sweat it too much. Do what comes naturally. Ds's speech pathologist said I should do both, it was no big deal. I think at 14 months I was still mostly saying the child's name, and then I gradually switched over.

Yeah, I treat my kids like people, but I also realize they are KIDS. I don't talk down to them but I do use short sentences to encourage Ds to talk.
 

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Kids learn language because it's spoken around them as much as to them. Your child will learn pronouns as long as you use them correctly, your child will use them correctly.

It's natural to use your child's name in a sentence when you speak to them. There's a reason for that too. Simplifying language helps language development.

Even if you use pronouns correctly all the time your child will probably take awhile to learn to use them correctly. Kids focus on nouns first then verbs, simple 'sentences' just after that and so on. Nobody would think to correct a 2 yr old when they said 'me go' we just affirm their use of language and eventually they figure it out and self correct soon enough.
 

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I completely agree that kids will pick up the language that is used around them and that it's both normal and appropriate to use modified language when speaking with young children...language acquisition is a fascinating area of study. But

Quote:
Nobody would think to correct a 2 yr old when they said 'me go' we just affirm their use of language
well...I wouldn't "correct" my dd as much as I would model the correct usage for her. If she said "me go park", I'd give a big smile and say "Yes! You are going to the park" or "Yes! you went to the park". Affirming her use of language while demonstrating the correct forms. But then, my mom was an English teacher...
 

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I've done that with both my kids and they learned pronouns.

I second the advice to do what comes naturally. Of all the things to worry about, this is about the last thing on my list!! It's much more important to interact with your child in a positive way that feels natural to you!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wombatclay
well...I wouldn't "correct" my dd as much as I would model the correct usage for her. If she said "me go park", I'd give a big smile and say "Yes! You are going to the park" or "Yes! you went to the park". Affirming her use of language while demonstrating the correct forms. But then, my mom was an English teacher...

But that's just it - you AREN'T correcting here - you are modeling the correct forms in a natural, conversational way. And even then, you aren't modeling the pronoun the child should have used ('I'), you're using the pronoun 'you'. Most parents react just that way to incorrect forms. Correction is saying "no, don't say "me go park" say "I went to the park"" - there are darn few parents who do that. (And when they do, it doesn't work!)

But with pronouns, you see, there really is no way to do it except modeling -- that's because when I'm speaking about you, I say 'you', but when you're speaking about you, you say 'I', and when you're talking about me, you say 'you', but when I'm talking about me, I say 'I'. Confused?
: So would any child be where you tried to explain it. Modeling is really the only possible way to go here.
 

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i usually just say his name first. like "Caleb, do you need a new diaper?" its just how it turned out i guess. he's only 16m so still pretty young for that.
 

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My dd is 19 months, I haven't been using my dd's name in sentences when speaking to her, she uses me, mine and I, not always in correct grammer but she is getting it. For example this was the most adorable thing, I was singing "you're so beautiful to me" to her and she suddenly sang, "I so beautiful, to me!" and when I sing Happy birthday song to her, she says "happy birthday to me" instead of "to you".
Of course, it is cute so I don't try to correct her, arrogance is just precious in toddlers!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mama_b
Like instead of saying "Do you want something to eat?" I say "Does (dd's name) want something to eat?" Is that bad? BTW, she is 14 months old.
I would speak to her correctly. I understand (and there have been a lot of studies on I believe) the sing-songy high voice that we naturally use with babies/toddlers. But I use pronouns correctly when I talk to kids, no matter how young they are.

Someone mentioned using their child's name at the beginning or ending of the question - which I think is fine. "Jane, do you want something to eat?"

I wouldn't correct incorrect pronoun usage - but would restate it correctly like LynnS6 said. Child says "me go park", and parent says "yes, we are going to the park." My JUST turned three year old is almost perfect with all different pronouns. Just model correct usage and they will pick it up.
 
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