Joking, pretending with toddlers gives them head start in life skills.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Toddlers (Health aspects)
Life skills (Analysis)
Parenting (Methods)
Pub Date: 09/22/2011
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Fall-Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 14 Source Issue: 3
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 277270192
Full Text: Parents who joke and pretend with their toddlers are giving their children a head start in terms of life skills. Most parents are naturals at playing the fool with their kids, says a new research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). However parents who feel they may need a little help in doing this can learn to develop these life skills with their tots.

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The study examined whether parents offer different cues such as tone or pitch of voice in order to help their toddlers understand and differentiate between joking and pretending. Findings reveal that parents rely on a range of language styles, sound and non-verbal cues. For example, when pretending, parents often talk slowly and loudly and repeat their actions. Conversely, parents tend to cue their children to jokes by showing their disbelief through language, and using a more excited tone of voice.

"We found that most parents employ these different cues quite naturally to help their toddlers understand and differentiate these concepts," researcher Dr. Elena Hoicka points out. "While not all parents feel confident in their natural abilities, the research does show that making the effort to interact in this way with toddlers is important. Knowing how to joke is great for making friends, dealing with stress, thinking creatively and learning to 'think outside the box'. Pretending helps children learn about the world, interact with others, be creative and solve problems."

Economic and Social Research Council (2011, Oct 27). Joking, pretending with toddlers gives them head start in life skills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027112508.htm
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