Why do children talk too much

Parents notice differences in the development of small children at the latest when others ask: "Isn't it talking yet?" The psychologist Sabine Frevert is an expert in development diagnostics at the Bielefeld Institute for Early Childhood Development and holds training courses for educators and teachers. In the interview, she explains why parents of late speakers can and should stay relaxed despite annoying questions.

Süddeutsche.de: One toddler speaks in full sentences, the other has just said "Mama" - and everyone gets nervous when at 14 months it is still just crawling and babbling. Can you reassure the parents?

Sabine Frevert: Parents have to be clear about one thing: in young children, differences in development are normal - to a certain extent this is completely within limits, including in language development. Some speak two-word sentences at ten months, others only speak a few words at 14 months. Most children say around 50 words by the age of one and a half and then shift up a gear by their second birthday. Scientists call this the "vocabulary spurt". With this sprint the children begin to form sentences with two words, for example "Mama Scissors".

Süddeutsche.de: How many children fall out of this time frame?

Frevert: Relatively many are "late speakers", namely 14 to 20 percent: These children do not say 50 words at the age of 24 months. One should keep an eye on the "late speakers" - but this does not necessarily mean that they have development deficits. By their third birthday, half of them will have caught up and speak eagerly. The other half should now actually be funded. Whether a child made up their language deficit at the age of three is no longer determined by the number of words. The structure of the sentence is then important, the child should now be able to speak in full sentences, for example "There is Anne's bike".

Süddeutsche.de: Do these children need speech therapy?

Frevert: Two year old "late speakers" are not necessarily. It is important that they are encouraged in everyday life and that the parents are well advised. For example, from a speech therapist or during parenting training in Heidelberg, which specifically gives tips to parents of "late speakers".