parents talk much more to girls than to boys. Girls get better results at school

By the time a poor child is 1 year old, she has most likely already fallen behind middle-class children in her ability to talk, understand and learn. The gap between poor children and wealthier ones widens each year, and by high school it has become a chasm

the key to early learning is talking

specifically, a child’s exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3, the more the better

All parents gave their children directives like “Put away your toy!” or “Don’t eat that!” But interaction was more likely to stop there for parents on welfare, while as a family’s income and educational levels rose, those interactions were more likely to be just the beginning.

Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words

the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.

parents talk much more to girls than to boys (perhaps because girls are more sociable, or because it is Mom who does most of the care, and parents talk more to children of their gender)

This might explain why young, poor boys have particular trouble in school

kids born to families on welfare do worse than professional-class children entirely because their parents talk to them less

Talking to baby has become part of middle-class culture; it seems like instinct, but it’s not.

These findings should have created a policy whirlwind: Here was a revolutionary way to reduce inequities in school achievement that seemed actually possible

source:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/the-power-of-talking-to-your-baby/?ref=opinion&smid=tw-nytimes

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