28 Oct Start Talking and Don’t Stop……….
The New York Times published “Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K” on October 21, 2013. Research has proven that talking to our children from the time they are infants will help them, however there is data that indicates that not all parents talk to their children and subsequently these children fall behind their peers academically. There are many demands on us as parents. We are inundated with instructions on what to do for our children. I would argue that most parents strive to do their best.
The NYT article points out “literacy experts emphasize the importance of natural conversations with children.” In my experience as a psychologist, the discussion of developmental milestones is a starting point for talking to parents about language acquisition. I have heard the following comments repeatedly from parents: “I feel silly talking to a baby, people will think I’m crazy.” “The baby is too young to understand what I am saying.” “I don’t know what to talk about.” The reality is that parenting is exhausting and there is never enough time.
However, a parent can “narrate their day” for their young children. This will help parents to talk to their children on a more regular basis. It’s as simple as “now we are going to the store to buy dinner, here is the rice and the carrots we are buying…”
In the complicated world we live in, it is important that we as parents talk to our children, first as babies and toddlers to teach them and to continue speaking with them through childhood into adolescence and into early adulthood to guide them. This narrative that we give our children will serve them well.