The article stresses the importance of "Family conversation," and describes the difference between families on welfare and higher earning families in the way they interact with their children.
"The disparity was staggering. Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600
|Aunty, Uncle and Baby Nas...|
Coming from a lower-middle class family, we never experienced this issue. My parents were educated, higher educated, then educated again in America. They encouraged us with conversation and made sure we spoke proper English in the home. We didn't receive welfare, so maybe this played a part - but they provided us with books and limited our TV time. Creativity was fostered through toys and time with friends. We turned out pretty good.
|Daddy & Baby time...|
"Hart and Risley later wrote that children’s level of language development starts to level off when it matches that of their parents — so a language deficit is passed down through
generations. They found that 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. And they argued that the disparities in word usage correlated so closely with academic success that kids born to families on welfare do worse than professional-class children entirely because their parents talk to them less. In other words, if everyone talked to their young children the same amount, there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all. (Some other researchers say that while word count is extremely important, it can’t be the only factor.)"
I can attest to this comparison, as I know plenty of kids I grew up with whose parents barely spoke to them. If it wasn't to chastise or threaten, it was very little conversation. My mother and I would sit and have senseless conversation all the time, in addition to the intellectual chatter. My brother and I excelled in school (with the exception of math - I suck at math) and I graduated with honors courses in High School. Most of the kids I grew up with either dropped out or never pursued college education.
Maybe their mothers didn't talk to their bellies, either. Hmmm...