23 answers

Mispronouncing Words--is It "Cute?"

When my SD was younger she mispronounced a lot of words that little kids have trouble with. "Hostable" "Ephalant" "Liberry" "Prenzel" etc.

Everyone thought it was "cute" so no one ever corrected her. When I came on the scene I was told to "leave her alone, it's so cute!" and "lots of kids mispronounce those words, it's okay."

Now she's 9, and it's still going on, plus it's a HABIT.

Is this still "cute" at 9 years old? I would imagine it would stop being "cute" at age 3 or 4.

I've corrected her, and she CAN say the words correctly. She doesn't have a speech problem. I'm still being told to "leave her alone" and "why do you have to correct her speech? Everyone knows what she's saying!"

Do you think she'll correct it on her own one day? Or should I keep after her? I would think people will either think she has a speech problem or she's not very bright as she grows older.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Ooops, I should have mentioned a very important detail--I'm her homeschool teacher! She doesn't have another teacher to say something, although that would have been a good idea!

But that's a good point. I will stop correcting her when I"m her stepmom and we'll just keep going over it in homeschool. I've gone over the pronunciation a billion times, so we'll make it a billion and one. I'm thinking of starting each English lesson with the correct pronunciation of those words until she makes the correction on her own, but I won't say anything outside of school.

I'm pretty sure she's not doing it on purpose or trying to be cute. It's just a habit now and THAT is what's bugging me. Breaking habits is hard, so I've been correcting her to break the habit but instead it's causing trouble so I'll just let it go. Thanks!

Featured Answers

Who's telling you to leave her alone? Is it her dad? Then yes, as annoying as her mispronouciated words are, you should leave her alone.

If it's anyone else, I would do as Denise K. suggested. Don't make a big deal out of it, say the word correctly and move on.

My youngest (8) is in speech and that's what I do with her. She usually repeats the word back correctly. I often tell her to slow down when she talks because when she does speak quickly, the words get mispronounced. When she takes the time to formulate her thoughts, she speaks clearer and mispronounces less.

4 moms found this helpful

I personally don't think it is "cute" even in a two year old. I always corrected my kid's mispronunciations by just repeating the word correctly. I did not make a big deal out of it. I think it is important to be able to speak well and I agree I think people will not think she is very bright as she grows older if she is mispronouncing words. I would also think if you pronounce the word incorrectly it would also make spelling so much harder.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I personally don't think it is "cute" even in a two year old. I always corrected my kid's mispronunciations by just repeating the word correctly. I did not make a big deal out of it. I think it is important to be able to speak well and I agree I think people will not think she is very bright as she grows older if she is mispronouncing words. I would also think if you pronounce the word incorrectly it would also make spelling so much harder.

4 moms found this helpful

That's touchy. Obviously, if it were your own daughter, you (correctly) would never have allowed this to continue so long. However, being that she is your husband's daughter, and you didn't say how long you have been "on the scene", then you need to keep your corrections few and far between, if at all. Definitely not anything disciplinary regarding the speech habit. If you absolutely must do 'SOMETHING', you might say, sweetly, "you mean library?" (not with a "teaching" tone, but just a sweet looking for what she means tone), here and there. Don't say anything more than that. And don't ask that but once every few days. Even if she does her "cute" words 75 times a day with different words.

What you might do, is talk to your husband instead. Often, when there is a broken family, the kids are coddled to some degree to "make up for" the difficulties of the broken family. Perhaps subconsciously. Anyway, you might talk to your hubby about how it will benefit your SD to pronounce words (that she is obviously capable of pronouncing) correctly; rather than how mispronouncing them for attention is a detriment to her. She should be proud of saying/knowing words that are "beyond" her peer groups typical knowledge/usage.

Generally speaking, in your interaction with her, I would simply ignore her habit. COMPLETELY. Ignore it. Don't correct her. Don't laugh at her. Don't smile like it's cute. Don't grimace because it grates on your nerves. Just pretend she said it correctly and move on. The more attention she gets from it, the longer it will continue.

I am totally with you about mispronouncing words not being cute. When they are two, it is cute sometimes for some things for a short time. I NEVER repeated an incorrect pronunciation to my kids like I know others sometimes do. I just don't believe in that. I also didn't use "babytalk" with my kids. Sure I used the singsong voice when they were babies.. but I still called a blanket a blanket and a bottle a bottle (not a banky or a baba)..
But, because it is a step-child/parent situation, it makes everything different as to how YOU handle it.
Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful

Who's telling you to leave her alone? Is it her dad? Then yes, as annoying as her mispronouciated words are, you should leave her alone.

If it's anyone else, I would do as Denise K. suggested. Don't make a big deal out of it, say the word correctly and move on.

My youngest (8) is in speech and that's what I do with her. She usually repeats the word back correctly. I often tell her to slow down when she talks because when she does speak quickly, the words get mispronounced. When she takes the time to formulate her thoughts, she speaks clearer and mispronounces less.

4 moms found this helpful

I wonder how she pronounces those words AWAY from the family????? You should find out. I am betting correctly. She is enjoying the special attention she gets for using these words.

3 moms found this helpful

Nope, not cute. I actually don't think it's all that cute when they're 3 or 4, though it's more acceptable because they're still learning language at that age. But by 9, unless she actually HAS a speech issue, she should be speaking properly.

I would correct her, but gently. And unless it's your husband that's telling you to leave her alone about it, I'd correct her around other people too.

2 moms found this helpful

Personally, this isn't a battle I would choose.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree that it's cute until about kinder or first grade when they have to start leaning to read and sound out words. Not annunciating and/or allowing her to pronounce words incorrectly only hurts her ability to learn more effectively, and I don't really think it's cute at 9.

She probably continues to do it because now she thinks it's cute too. Unfortunately, peer pressure may be the thing that helps her change it.

2 moms found this helpful

You are correct. It is cute the first time you hear it and after that it is time to correct. It is only fair to her to correct her. Since she is nine try having her write it correctly and see if helps her with the saying it.

2 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.