Friday, June 27, 2008
I recently found an interesting study on the power of talking to your baby. According to the LENA system , "the sheer quantity of words your child hears every day from birth to age 4 directly impacts his or her language development and academic success." There is actually a device called the LENA Digital Language Processor (DLP) that measures all of the sounds and words that your child says or hears. You can then analyze the data and generate reports in order to track your child's development. They suggest narrating your daily activities to your baby to increase the number of words your baby hears. In fact, according to the study babies should hear 25 million words over the first four years of life - that's 17,000 words a day! I'm pretty sure I don't talk that much to my child, so I'm now making a conscious effort to use as many words as I can around him. I'm not sure if such a sophisticated device is really necessary, but I wonder if it really works. If I had one I would be afraid of constantly checking the word count on it, rather than actually focusing on my baby and communicating with him. On the other hand, perhaps such a device would increase our awareness as to how much we include our children in our day to day activities, therefore helping us to be more attentive towards them. Either way, it certainly opened my eyes to the benefits of communicating with my child as much as I can. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?