The CBC reports:
Attention exhausted parents: The next time your toddler starts making strange noises or babbling about Paw Patrol, try to strike up a conversation — it could make a big difference later, researchers say.
A study published this week in Pediatrics found that toddlers with parents who spend lots of 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.
"If you knew that children who were fed a certain nutritional diet at age two were not only far healthier as toddlers, but much more likely to be in a healthy weight range at age 12, you'd want to pursue those findings, wouldn't you?" said study author Jill Gilkerson, senior director of research and evaluation at the LENA Foundation, a non-profit charity in Boulder, Col.
"Conversational turns are that diet, that nutrition, for the brain."
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 children had followup tests of their language skills and cognitive abilities, such as working memory and reasoning, between ages nine and 14.
Conversation nourishes the brain
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