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Childcare expert shares how kids develop 'private speech' to learn communication and self-guidance

Dan Wuori explained that the inner voice that adults have was not always internal. It began as 'private speech' when they were toddlers.

Childcare expert shares how kids develop 'private speech' to learn communication and self-guidance
Cover Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier

Every phase of childhood is endearing and heartwarming. In the initial phases, children are learning different things and developing in different ways. As a result, the changes are exhibited in the cutest manner. One of these changes is developing voice and inner dialogue. @DanWuori, a researcher and Senior Director of Early Learning at The Hunt Institute, recently shared a post on one of the most adorable developments that occur in children. Using the video shared by @itsemilygauthier, the expert shed light on how the whole process of developing an inner voice begins in a child. 

Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier
Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier


The video posted by @itsemilygauthier captured how her toddler was showing extreme awe and happiness upon seeing a baby chicken. The caption read, “He says ‘happy’ all the time and I never want him to grow out of it.” The baby chick is held gently by his father as the toddler carefully goes towards the chick to pet it. Nervous and eager at the same time, as soon as the toddler pets the chick, he immediately releases his hand in awe and delight. He is soon seen chirpy and excited, almost wanting to jump in joy. The text on the video reads, “My toddler announcing, ‘happy’ when he pets a baby chick for the first time.”

Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier
Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier

Trying to contain his emotions, the overjoyed toddler claps his hands and says, “Happy” as his face goes red in smiles. His parents let out a chuckle observing their baby’s emotions. The father hears his toddler and immediately relays the word back to his kid acknowledging his emotions. Wuori explains the reason behind this scenario and says, “Given the opportunity to touch a baby chick for the first time, this little one gives it a gentle pet, then beams with delight. The last thing he does before leaving the frame is what I want to talk about. Ever so softly, he whispers, ‘happy.’ And that’s exactly what he is.” 


He continued in his post, “What you’re seeing here is an example of what developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky termed “private speech.” The expert continued to explain the inner voice we adults have inside of us. He expressed it as an “inner dialogue, a silent conversation we have with ourselves as we think.” He further elaborated that this inner voice doesn’t directly develop as a quiet voice within us. Wuori went on to mention, “As they develop as language learners, young children begin this process with private speech, which is spoken aloud, but intended for an audience of one: themselves.” This was a reference to the child saying, “happy” aloud upon petting the baby chick

Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier
Image Source: Instagram/@itsemilygauthier




Wuori further said, “Just as inner dialogue helps adults and older children, private speech helps young children with communication, self-guidance and the regulation of emotions and behavior.” he also mentioned that this private speech is usually seen in toddlers and kids between the ages of two and seven. The post received over 600k views and several users expressed their opinions in the comments section. @momshieb said, “My now 3-year-old grandson went through a phase of whispering phrases to himself after hearing them from adults. ‘Tomorrow will be sunny.’ Like he was practicing new words and ideas.” @LindaGr90452342 said, “Kids show us how to love and be happy in the smallest things in life. This is a teachable moment for adults too.”





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A post shared by Emily Gauthier (@itsemilygauthier)


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