A decade ago I read an article where a Harvard Research Group tried to close the educational gap between children of varying social economic statuses. Despite this groups ability to fund full-day childcare with highly trained childcare workers and low child to teacher ratio, the educational gaps and latter success were never “even” between these various groups of children. The study group came to the conclusion that these gaps could not be “evened out”. The study group had extensively visited all the homes of the children in their study. They had recorded hours of at home play and interaction among the children and their parents/caregivers. The group concluded that among the children who lived in a safe and stable homes, the highest predictor of success in school and life educationally correlated with the amount of words used in the home among the children and the parents/caregivers.
Reading this article years ago was extremely impressionable. I wasn’t a parent yet, but this article stuck in the back of my mind for when I worked with children and one day when I had children of my own.
Here is a more poignant article that I ran across last night after my kids were asleep in their beds: The Power Of Talking To Your Baby by Tina Rosenberg.
When new parents ask me advice on parenting, I often tell them “Always talk to your baby/children, the rest is obtainable by experience. If you have specific questions ask me as they come along.”
Of course, there are times where I need quiet. Most of the time I’m that annoying Mom that speaks to their baby about the difference between an orange and a clementine at the grocery store, etc. As you can see above; it makes a world of difference! Children love to hear your voice and interact with you.
My Dad talking to Miss C at a coffee date together
Enjoy talking to your children and the children in your life!