Communication Patterns in Caregiver-Child Language


CommunicationCaregiver 1
Playing with a Child
Caregiver 2
Drawing with a Child
Caregiver 3
Talking to a Child
Directive Accepts the child’s directive to color the picture.
RedirectionRephrases the child’s initial statement about playing in the “elevator.”Redirects attention to the other child.Redirects the child’s instructions back to him.
QuestionsAsk if the girl will tell her what to do.

Asks if the child is going up or down on the elevator.

Asks the girl to tell her more about the picture.

Asks which part she should color.

Asks questions and attempts to examine the child’s needs.
StatementsWhen the girl comes out of the “lift,” she states that fact.States that she sees the girl’s picture.
Directions Gives the son directions to go to the kitchen and show the object in question.

Table 1. Caregiver-child communication is divided by the pattern performed.

Caregiver-Child Interaction Analysis

At the stage between 18 and 36 months old, children become more expressive and can connect more complex structures resembling actual human speech. This stage can be exceptionally difficult for the caregiver, as they have to understand the meaning behind the child’s expressions. In the case presented, caregiver 1 is maintaining interest in the girl’s actions by communicating with her and supporting her statements. First of all, the woman uses redirection in order to repeat the girl’s initial suggestions and confirm her intentions for the next action [1]. After that, she stays engaged and asks the girl-specific questions about her current state and her further activities. For example, she confirms if the girl is going up or down the elevator [1]. Finally, she supports her by stating that the game sequence was completed successfully.

As for caregiver 2, she is exceptionally careful with the directions provided by the child she is interacting with. At the very beginning of the video sequence, she receives a drawing from the girl and ensures the child that she sees her work and is ready to interact with her [1]. After that, she closely listens to the girl’s instructions and confirms actions that she should engage in [1]. The woman asks direct questions and states the answers given by the girl in order to evaluate the activity that she has to partake in.

Finally, caregiver 3 describes her experience interacting with her son. The woman states that she often experiences difficulties when attempting to understand the boy’s desires. In these situations, she always evaluates the child’s needs and intently listens to his directions in order to establish successful communication. As such, she patiently waits for the boy to repeat his instructions and supports his intent to maintain the conversation as long as needed [1]. It is also especially effective to redirect the child’s statements and examine if his needs were understood correctly. Furthermore, the woman often employs additional ways of interaction, such as in the example with the kitchen [1]. She states that it is possible to present the child with an opportunity to show the object related to his desired actions to understand his wishes.

It is clear that all parents and caregivers communicate differently with the children. Even though some of the techniques used are similar, the overall flow of interaction varies based on the individual’s traits. While some caregivers might employ more question-based methods, others rely on intent listening and understanding of the child’s desires. Finally, it seems effective to support the children during the talking process by providing feedback.

To conclude, three examples of human caregiver-child communication were thoroughly described in this paper. Analyzing the children’s needs can be especially challenging due to the restrictions of this age. However, the caregiver can implement various ways of sustaining the interaction and providing further support during the conversation. It is possible to use such methods as directions, questions, and statements to ensure that the instructions provided are understood correctly.


All About Young Children. Language development & literacy – 18 to 36 Months. YouTube. 2014. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2023) 'Communication Patterns in Caregiver-Child Language'. 12 October.


ChalkyPapers. 2023. "Communication Patterns in Caregiver-Child Language." October 12, 2023.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Communication Patterns in Caregiver-Child Language." October 12, 2023.


ChalkyPapers. "Communication Patterns in Caregiver-Child Language." October 12, 2023.