One of the things that my big kids have asked, now that we have Toddler running around, is: Why do we speak to babies in a high voice? I have no idea. I’ve read bits on it somewhere that babies seem to like it and maybe even can imitate it better so it helps with their language development – but I’m no expert on that. But I do know that we all speak in a higher voice, and one of the things that comes through is enthusiasm. Even the most proficient baby-speak parent, will never say ‘no’ in this high voice, never tell them off in baby-speak – that will be said in the most firm (but loving) adult voice!
As I said, this high pitch sing-song voice, brings enthusiasm to our instructions, to our greetings, to our conversations. Enthusiasm goes a long way in family life.
Enthusiasm expresses joy in each task
(Character First definition)
Enthusiasm brings energy into any situation. This is why we give our instructions in this high pitch voice – we hope we will enthuse our child to get on board!
Enthusiasm is contagious and when we smile (hard to speak in a high voice, with enthusiasm and not smile – go to the bathroom and look at yourself giving it a try!) When we smile, it affects the atmosphere in our home, and our toddler can smile (a smile on the face, and a smile in the heart)
Enthusiasm shows that every job is important. As Toddler carries her wet nappy to the bin, and I’m enthusiastically encouraging her along the way, she thinks she is doing a very important job; and she is, she’s learning to be helpful and orderly – two important things indeed!
One thing I know of big kids is that they can see a fake – and I don’t know when this discernment develops in a kid – but I reckon a toddler is on their way to knowing fake and real. So it is important that we be real – that we really do want to smile, that we really do think these little tasks we are doing are important. We need to understand that our emotions really do affect the people around us – our enthusiasm for any given task can lift the family towards success, or we can confirm their attitude that it is a drag.
The best way for us to grow in enthusiasm is to be convinced that what we are doing is important. If we think looking after our little one is second rate, that we are missing out on something better we are going to be sour grapes. If on the other hand we understand that at this time in our life, we are shaping the life of a little person, that we are helping them grow into a loving, productive person, then we can indeed have purpose for our days, regardless of other opportunities that may seem to slip by, because what we do matters. When we have purpose for our days we can be truly enthusiastic about it.
You can see the rest of my Living with a Toddler for 31 days series here.
Or find more 31 day series here.