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.
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.