Mommy talk and talk to me
The Nancy M. and Douglas M. Yeager Family Foundation has a very special interest in early childhood language development. One of the most simple and most effective ways to do this is for family members to talk to and with their children from birth until preschool. Talk, talk, talk. Odd as that may sound, it is a proven strategy and, wonderfully, doesn't cost a cent. If you are a caring parent and you want your child to be ready for school (and for life after school), talk to that child every chance you get. From morning until night. And, of course, listen back and then respond appropriately. It is, after all, a two-way conversation, but you, as the parent, are the leader and need to be the one initiating it, persisting in it, and never giving up. It means so very much to your child, and it pays off big-time. It truly is a no-brainer.
If you would like one of our printed children's books entitled Mommy Talk or Talk to Me, send your name and address to Doug Yeager at firstname.lastname@example.org and specify which you are requesting. Mommy Talk is available in English or in Spanish. Talk to Me is available only in English at this time. Single copies are free to individuals and quantities are free to nonprofits, schools, public agencies, libraries, and pediatric clinics. We have distributed more than 67,000 copies in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Finland, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Rhode Island, Singapore, Tennessee, Texas, UK, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Let us hear from you.
eBook editions of Mommy Talk are also available free of charge at Kindle eBooks on Amazon and at the iTunes Store, among many other web sites in the U.S. and internationally. Although it's a bit hard to track downloads in other countries, we know that it has been particular well-received in Australia, Chile, Mexico, Portugal and, on a smaller scale, in a number of other countries.
There is a terrific article in the January 2015 issue of National Geographic Magazine on how a baby's brain needs love to develop and on the profound impact of what happens in the baby's first year. The article not only summarizes important research in this field but also includes significant new research results.
An excellent book on this topic is Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain. The author of this book, published in September 2015, is Dana Suskind. She is the founder and director of the Thirty Million Word Initiative and is a Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. The book is based on scientific research that shows the critical importance of early language exposure on the developing child.
Also, a look at the website of the Princeton Baby Lab is a good idea. Princeton University's research efforts on early language development are truly fascinating and involve a very impressive team of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. Click here.