How Dads Make a Big Difference in Language Development for Kids

Language Development


Statistics on involved fathers



As a graduate student studying speech therapy, I repeatedly observed the phenomena of “dada” as a child’s first word. All the students in my playgroup seemed to have “dada” down, which inevitably made the moms a little upset. After all, why does dad get first billing? I remember my professor saying it was a common occurrence in her experience because often times, mother’s spend a lot more time talking about dad, “when will daddy be home?” “Look daddy’s here!” and that repeated modeling and talking about dad reinforced the meaning of that word. Even though we can expect the “muh” and “duh” sounds to both be early developing sounds, there is just something special about dads. While mother’s have a significant impact on development – and it has been well established that various maternal characteristics (education) influence vocabulary, it’s also important to examine the role of dads in a child’s development. And as it turns out, their part is very important.

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