it's impossible to talk to your baby too much

From the minute my babies were born, they heard me constantly narrating every single thing that was happening -- sometimes people even make fun of me for it when they watch our family videos. (I talked even more back then than I do now, if you can imagine such a thing!) 

But ha! research has now vindicated me and I can finally claim the last word. An article in the NY Times highlights research that suggests the more we talk to our babies (before age 3), the better:
 Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family. And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.
This is pretty ground-breaking stuff. Talking more to children is something anyone can do with ultra-beneficial results. Even if all you do is narrate your own actions it's still helpful:  Ok, it's time for me to fold those towels!  Ooh, they are still warm from the dryer! I love how they smell so fresh and clean. This yellow one is so bright and cheerful. You don't need to say anything of great consequence -- just say more!

Read the entire article at:

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delivering limits with a spoonful of sugar

Today's communication tip arrives
cloaked in song from Mary Poppins:
a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine
go down.

Pharmaceutical companies have you
covered on the actual medicine ... they
can make even the nastiest stuff taste like
bubble gum these days!

So I'll talk about another kind of medicine:
limits and boundaries. Parents need to
help kids learn what's okay to do and
what isn't. Children are not pre-wired with
the knowledge of what is acceptable
behavior in the culture they were born
into. Instead they are wired to watch and
learn from their parents. This information
is much easier for kids to absorb and
incorporate when it is delivered with

What do I mean by sweetness?

patty wipfler on setting limits that build cooperation

This is a very powerful five minute video. Patty Wipfler from Hand in Hand Parenting shares insights into why children respond the way they do to the limits that parents set.

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