BABBLE OR BABEL?
Perhaps I am the only person who cringes and feels a visceral pang of fear and sadness watching the eighteen month old twins babble incoherently in the wildly popular youtube video. Of course, they are adorably appealing, and their expressive “conversation” combined with their synchronous bodily movements are very comical. Nonetheless, from my perspective, this viral exploitation of twin behavior serves as yet another misrepresentation and distortion about twins and their development. While the boys look and sound “twin adorable,” this “twin talk” may be the result of inadequate parental interaction. Since many parents of twins mistakingly believe that the twin attachment is more important than the parental relationship, they may be unaware that speech patterns evolve from children listening to and imitating adult speech. Studies show that twins’ speech can develop a bit more slowly because of less than adequate parental interaction. I am concerned that the boys in the video do not demonstrate age appropriate speech milestones.
While I may be considered somewhat of a naysayer by those who find my thoughts exaggerated or extreme, nothing could be further from the truth. I am devoted to educating the public about the realities of twin relationships. Videos such as these perpetuate the “twin mystique” — the nontwin population’s idealized thinking and perceptions about being and having a twin. This “twin mystique” mentality can interfere with understanding and managing some of the real life struggles and challenges that twins confront as they grow.
To view this video please click here: Twin Baby Boys have a conversation