A Dad Learns the Value of “Parental Talk”

Justin Milner writes in Building Momentum to Bridge the Word Gap:

Before I became a dad 17 months ago, I had little idea about the importance of “parent talk” for infants. Sure, I knew I would be changing diapers (my wife was in charge of inputs, I was in charge of outputs). And I was committed to making sure my daughter became a world-class soccer player. But talking to an infant who communicated mainly through gurgles and gas emissions? What good could this babytalking possibly do?

The surprising answer: quite a lot.

Don’t feel bad if you are surprised too. Though the research on this has been clear for quite a while, getting the word out to new parents has been a real challenge. In fact, that is why Bright Beginnings was founded!

The point is that language development starts much earlier than we previously thought, and disparities in parent talk and, consequently, children’s early experiences can have effects on major child outcomes down the road. With nearly one in three American children entering kindergarten lacking the skills they need to read, and two in three children not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, the problem affects the public health of our nation as well as our prospects for future prosperity.

We hope that every parent and caregiver in our program “gets it” in time to make a difference with their own kids. It is very easy once you understand what to do! We’ve assembled a great kit of age-appropriate materials and activities and after a short visit to introduce the concepts, it’s very easy to integrate into a busy lifestyle. Request your visit today! The visit and the kit materials are free thanks to our generous supporters.