That Viral Video of a Baby Adorably ‘Talking’ to His Dad Is Actually a Lesson in Language Development

Photo Credit: Facebook, Shanieke Pryor

A video of a toddler having a “conversation” with his dad has taken over the internet. But it’s more than just an absurdly cute video — it’s also a great example of how adults should talk to babies to help develop their language skills.

Mom Shanieke Pryor of Tennessee shared the video of her son, Kingston, and his dad, DJ Pryor, sitting on the couch and watching TV. In the video, Kingston keeps babbling and gesturing at the screen, and he fully seems like he’s making legitimate commentary on what he’s watching. In response, DJ replies just like Kingston is speaking to him as an adult.

The video blew up so much that even Chris Evans retweeted it.


In response to the video, PhD linguist Dr. Karla Holloway explained that, actually, this can be viewed as an educational video about language development.

The video showcases one way to talk to babies: in a normal tone of voice, using regular vocabulary. That’s different than the “baby talk” that many parents use, which is high-pitched and simplified. Baby talk has its place and is useful, but it’s important to also talk to babies normally, like DJ is here.

“As a linguist, let me just say, this child will develop complex verbal skills before those who get (high-pitched) ‘baby talk’ from parents,” Dr. Holloway wrote on Twitter.

“Talk to children with regular vocabulary. Sit back, notice the developmental milestones!”

Other parents replied to confirm Dr. Holloway’s statement with their own anecdotal evidence. Then again, there are pros and cons to kids who can articulate themselves as well as an adult.

“Totally agree, we do the same with our kids,” one mom wrote. “Warning though, it will lead to your 3-year-old informing you ‘that was inappropriate behavior Mama, and I am kind of disappointed in you.'”

“The downside is my oldest started talking in complete sentences at 10 months old and hasn’t been quiet since (she is 22),” another mom joked.