I wonder if the research I read about in a recent article will change the language in the homes of little ones.

The research followed 11,000 adults who had experienced limited language development at age five. An alarming one-third of them still showed a poor grasp of reading and writing skills as adults. Nothing in thirty years of living counteracted their poor start with language.

In contrast, five-year-olds whose parents talked to them and read to them daily had a much lower risk of adulthood literacy problems. Simple as that. Talking matters. Reading matters — even to an infant — because words matter.

I look for ways to add talk time to the everyday routines with our children such as waking up, getting dressed, playing, eating snacks, riding in the car, or shopping. Talking about whatever we’re doing together makes every moment count by surrounding normal activities with wonderful words. And because singing is just words put to music, try singing or chanting Diddle Diddle Dumpling My Son John as you ready your child for bed. Singing matters, even to an infant, because words matter.

“Language and thought, even language and intelligence, are intimately entangled.” — Penelope Leach

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