Year Two – Post 11 | The 30 Million Word Gap
I have always believed that good parenting skills create a smart and happy child. Everyone agrees with me, but where is the “good” parenting manual? We take for granted that we should know how to be a good parent. Mother Nature is very good at creating the bond, but she may still be in the era of milking cows and darning socks when it comes to helping your child with his academic success. Child development has been very well researched, but most people wouldn’t find this information interesting or practical. It requires parenting experience, in addition to knowledge, to make it meaningful to mom and dad. Education takes place in the home…and it starts at a very early age.
Good communication skills will open many doors for personal success in your child’s future. Research conducted by Betsy Hart and Todd Risley in The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3 supports my beliefs about the importance of parenting in the communication process. Their data concluded that children living in professional class homes heard approximately 30 million more words than children in welfare class homes, and 10 million more than those in working class homes. The children in these families developed language at the same ratio. The research went a step further and compared the children’s success in the classroom environment with their communication skills. Again, there was a direct correlation. What was also a factor was the way parents interacted with their children –a more positive manner encouraged learning. It’s also important, in today’s high-tech homes, to provide an environment that is rich in words and sensory activities that stimulate all areas of development. Be wise and invest the time and education in your children and yourself. You are your child’s best teacher, and as research has proven, “Education takes place in the home.”
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series