Having a "chat" with your toddler can pay off, even 10 years later!

CBC News recently ran an article highlighting a new remarkable study published by Pediatrics that found toddlers whose parents spend time listening and chatting with them are more likely to have better language skills and higher IQs a decade later than youngsters left hanging in silence.

Researchers analyzed more than 9,000 hours of transcribed day-long recordings from 146 Denver-area children ages two months to four years old, and their parents. The researchers measured conversational turn-taking, such as if a parent says something and the child responds with a word, babble or coo within five seconds, or a vocalization from the child that the parent responds to within five seconds. The children had followup tests of their language skills and cognitive abilities, such as working memory and reasoning, between ages nine and 14.

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The study noted frequent chatting with toddlers accounted for up to 27 percent of their higher performance in verbal comprehension a decade later.

Research found that conversational turns are more important for developing brains than simply being exposed to words. The study noted frequent chatting with toddlers accounted for up to 27 percent of their higher performance in verbal comprehension a decade later.

So the next time your toddler starts making strange noises or babbling about Unicorns or Paw Patrol, try to strike up a conversation — it could make a big difference later in life.

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Jody Vaynshtok

Jody is a California-licensed speech language pathologist with eight years of industry and clinical experience. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations during her time at private practice, birth-to-three, and hospital facilities. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. In addition, Jody has a passion for working with adults looking to achieve clearer communication. Jody received her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She was a part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s cleft and craniofacial clinic participating in the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children born with craniofacial abnormalities. She holds a staff position at UCSF and is the lead speech language pathologist for the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Hearing Loss Clinic. When she's not busy having fun with her clients Jody enjoys spending time with her husband, Anton, friends and family. And if she's not headed out somewhere fun for dinner, you might find her at Bar Method working out!