Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - The Gift of Gab

My family is loaded with talkers. My mother taught us well. We have strong opinions and we claim them loud, proud and often. I didn't know there was a developmental advantage to this trait until my friend, Liz, told me that by age 3 it becomes very obvious which children come from families who talk to their children regularly and those who don't. Children from families who talk to them often have triple the vocabulary when compared to children who come from families that don't talk to their babies and toddlers.

I wasn't quite sure what Liz meant at first. What family doesn't speak to their children? And then I started to observe a little more closely. On the streets of New York and in the subways, I have seen too many adults ignore the children they're with. They don't answer their questions and concerns, or when they do it's with a harsh tone. Too many sit with their children and don't interact with them. It's a prevalent, serious issue.

Sometimes I'll hear people on the subway talking to their children so much, in sing-songy language seemingly about nothing at all, that it actually drives me to move. Little did I know that these adults are doing a wonderful thing - they are advancing their children's mental capacity for language and understanding. These children are the writers and thinkers of tomorrow. These children are just like me, with adults who love them with their hearts and words, exactly the way my mom did. And this knowledge is making me smile on my subway rides next to little talkative kids. Gab on...

1 comment:

runner52 said...

The Art of Conversation is fast becoming a lost art, just like writing long letters and actually mailing them to someone.....nice story