Why parents should talk a lot to their young kids — and choose their words carefully

(The Washington Post) Coverage in The Washington Post of Dana Suskin’s book, Thirty Million Words, which references the famous word gap study from Hart and Risley, 1995. Parent talk in the first three years of life is the power propelling our brains to develop to their optimum potentials. The process is so simple and hidden that you aren’t even aware it’s happening. But in those first three years, when 85 percent of our physical brain growth occurs, parent talk is the brain’s essential nutrition. At no other time in life will brain growth be as robust or influential. Read Article

While we agree with the overall premise, the key insight is surrounding children with spoken sophisticated words – not just in early childhood, but all the way through elementary school. Moreover, words read aloud to children from books are more sophisticated than typical spoken words. By example, most parents might say, “look over there,’ vs. ‘observe.’

Nonetheless, we applaud the work of Dana Suskind and the Thirty Million Words® Initiative.

Publication:      The Washington Post
Author:             Valerie Strauss
Publish Date:   9.30.2015