There is a NYT article from last week titled The Power of Talking to Your Baby. I can’t even tell you how much this article spoke to me. I almost want to have kids just so I can be awesome at raising them for school and reading. It should be noted that I would be less than stellar at other parts of raising them, like potty training. So we’re gonna stick to the no kids thing. BUT, as a librarian who works mainly with kids age 0-3 and creates the early literacy programs here I find these articles empowering! TALK TO YOUR BABIES Y’ALL! DO IT! These are some parts of the article that stuck out to me in particular if you don’t have time to read the whole thing.
“Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family.” This does not mean that kids from poor families should be at a disadvantage forever. It means that we need to recognize this disparity and encourage parents in this socioeconomic status to talk to their kids MORE. Not only that but the people who did the research said, “If everyone talked to their young children the same amount, there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all.” Let’s try and make that happen people.
“Parents talk much more to girls than to boys (perhaps because girls are more sociable, or because it is Mom who does most of the care, and parents talk more to children of their gender). This might explain why young, poor boys have particular trouble in school.” You think??
It all makes me want to go out and talk to every baby I see. Don’t know how to talk to your baby? Here’s a video of how to narrate your child’s day.