Parent Bloggers and Too Small to Fail Join Forces to Spread the Word that "Talking is Teaching"
Parenting is often described as the toughest job you’ll ever love. No wait, that was the Army. Anyway, parenting is the job you’re always totally unprepared for, yet you are expected to have all the answers, resources and energy to raise a happy, healthy and well-adjusted member of society. Since that is the expectation and pressure so many parents feel, how DO they do it?
No really. Blogs!
Many a contemporary parent has used the Internet to look up anything from “how to swaddle” to “school lice outbreak” and been delivered millions of returns, many of which are scary reams of too much information on WebMD. But the secret is in the blogs written by parents who are telling the day-to-day stories from the trenches and the community that springs up around them to share support, resources and a good dose of humor.
Many of the parents who write blogs are on the frontlines of research and information sharing. And they get stuff done! That’s why Too Small to Fail decided to partner up with some amazing parent-blogger-doers at Go Mighty, an online network of goal sharing, support and achievement. Too Small to Fail is focused on helping to close the word gap – the difference between the number of words children in low-income families learn versus those in high-income families – by sharing important research about vocabulary development with parents and caregivers. This means sharing the exciting and critical research on how babies’ brains develop, how they learn words and language, and why that is so important. Who better to tell those stories, the successes and the challenges than parents who write?
But why are words from parents so important? Isn’t there an app for that? Actually, no. Children who hear more words during the day spoken directly to them by their parents develop better vocabularies and are better prepared for reading comprehension and critical thinking in school. Without words, children cannot adequately express themselves and are hard-pressed to catch up later in life. For example, a study by Professors Betty Hart and Todd Risley in the mid-1990s found that children in low-income homes hear approximately 600 words per hour, while children in professional homes hear approximately 2,100 words per hour. This difference of 1,500 words an hour adds up to millions of words by the time a child reaches three years of age, and translates into later gaps in academic achievement.
Wondering how you can increase your baby’s brain power or how to support a parent who many not realize the importance of talking daily with their babies? Head over to Go Mighty and look up #gomighty4kids, then share the stories you see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and anywhere else you can think. That hashtag is your key to stories and resources from real parents who have set goals to help their young kids increase their vocabularies by doing everyday things: having family dinner and conversation together, volunteering at school, and of course, reading! The difference is that these are parents willing to give a peek into their homes and families, and share with you their triumphs and failures in real time. And that’s the best training any parent could ask for.