Conversation and Reading Will Make Your Child Smarter

I recently read an article on the CBC News site titled Nothing short of remarkable’: Study finds parents’ chats with their toddlers pay off 10 years later by Amina Zafar. This is a great article –go read it. But, if you want the short version, here’s my condensed version:

The Point

  1. Read to your kids, even if they can’t talk yet.
  2. Speak WITH them, not TO them. This means conversationally where they reply, even if they aren’t making sense/words.

The Reason

  1. Science.
    More specifically, this study, “Language Experience in the Second Year of Life and Language Outcomes in Late Childhood” concluded that talking with your child helps them perform better – conversation with kids aged 18 to 24 months old produced marked cognative/academic performance improvements for the following 10 years.

What Next?

  1. Develop a daily routine.
    Create a time in your child’s day where YOU read to them, where YOU talk with them.
  2. Create 1-on-1 Time.
    If you have more than 1 child, create a time slot for each one of them to be with you where they have your complete and undivided attention. Maybe not on the same day, maybe both parents can each take 1 kid. Figure it out.
  3. Stick to it.
    Getting this started is great, but sticking to it for years is the challenge that will pay off.
    Remember that this is not for you; it’s for your child.

Side Effects

  1. Your child will come to crave this attention from you. You may not realize this, but kids calm right down when they know that they can have your undivided attention. They feel secure, at ease, comfortable.
  2. You’ll find that these conversations and reading sessions will be become enlightening. Your child will eventually start sharing their deeper thoughts with you.
  3. You’ll miss it when you stop, so don’t.

Longest-Running Study of Human Development in the World

Watch This

For the past 70 years, scientists in Britain have been studying thousands of children through their lives to find out why some end up happy and healthy while others struggle. It’s the longest-running study of human development in the world, and it’s produced some of the best-studied people on the planet while changing the way we live, learn and parent. Reviewing this remarkable research, science journalist Helen Pearson shares some important findings and simple truths about life and good parenting.

Advice from Stephen Hawking

  1. Remember to look up at the stars, and not down at your feet.
  2. Never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.
  3. If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is rare, and don’t throw it away.

TV and Your Child’s Brain – EXPLAINED

I looked at some research into how TV affects the viewers brain. I will try to explain it in simple terms (because I am rather simple myself)

  • The stimulus (TV/Porn/Movie/Music video/etc) sends A/V signals to the subject’s brain.
  • The subject’s brain then processes what it is experiencing with eyes and ears.
  • The subject is stationary, usually at rest, in a familiar setting and is comfortable there.
  • The violent stimulus triggers natural fight or flight reactions in the subject’s brain, but the subject is not in any real danger, so the subject’s brain suppresses any reactions.
  • Change the stimulus and the respective reactions take place in the brain, usually contrary to the subject’s state, and the brain suppresses further.
  • There are no exciting videos of people sitting on their couches. The SIMS is the closest you’re going to get to that, haha, so the stimulus is almost always in direct contrast to the viewer’s current state.

Now, with that said, what happens when the brain reacts, then is suppressed – repeatedly? Well, over a 120 minute movie with the action, romance, and drama peaking and falling throughout, the brain gets a good workout. As an adult you’re used to it, but with a kid, they’re just learning to suppress these things, and what happens is they build up the feelings rather than suppressing them. So, at the end of a fighting movie they want to release that build up, and they act-out. At the end of a sad movie they might be on a downer, or appear saddened. Over time, they develop coping mechanisms, but some kids don’t and they act-out all the time, and as they grow up they act-out on a larger scale.

Think About It.