Everyone does it, everyone on occasion will stop and realize they've been talking to themselves. Whether it's going through a list that's on your mind, wondering out loud about things or expressing frustration at a bad driver. But do you notice your kids talking to themselves? I'm sure you do because they do it all the time and it's great for their development!
Talking to yourself is referred to as "private speech" and often starts right when children learn to talk. The two main purposes of private speech are to work on their language development and to reflect on their experiences.
A well respected child development researcher Laura Berk said, "A lot of parents think that it's socially unacceptable or weird if a child talks to himself, but in fact it's normal and typical, and we find that children who engage in task-relevant private speech generally perform better over time."
You can see private speech exhibited in these different ways:
- Repeating a rule: After you've told them not to touch the hot stove they may repeat it back to you, "No Touching!"
- Problem Solving: if he's trying to figure out how to put a puzzle together, you may notice him talking about it out loud to himself to discover the solution.
- Playing: Of course when playing with toys or dolls they can talk as if they were playing with another person. Or they may just have a running commentary of what they're doing.
- Singing: Perhaps they are singing as they do a task or as they play
As they get older they'll learn to internalize and won't talk out loud as often but as they're developing, especially until they are about 8, talking out loud and to themselves is a great sign that they are developing as they should! Plus, you may overhear some really funny conversations.
Are your kids talking to themselves? What funny things have you overheard? We want to hear your stories!