The responses that I got from people that I sent The Talking Cure article to were incredible, I asked to hear their thoughts and they delivered. I was happily reminded about the fact that I surround myself with extremely intelligent people. Here are some small clips from the wide range of people who sent me their ideas. (Again, I am keeping these anonymous, since those that replied did not necessarily consent to being posted on Always Standing.)
What is interesting is the link they are drawing between television watching, low income house holds, and low IQs. I like that they did point out that they have not found a causational relationship but rather a correlation. More TV watching means less talking which makes sense, but why would a child not pick up on the words being spoken by the characters on TV? Maybe low income parents are not as good of teachers? Or maybe they are not as present as much since they generally have to work more hours at low wages to get by.
Not surprisingly, this article states exactly what my mom always told me from the time I was a little girl. She noticed the difference between my brother and I. She knew that it was with me being the second child, she spoke a lot more to me/us as my brother was older and could talk, etc. And she had me on her knee from newborn as she would read to my brother, books way older than for a newborn. As a result, she noticed I talked much quicker than my brother and my reading skills were off the charts.
I wonder about what difference a large family makes with all the conversations that kids can observe and engage in.
I liked what it had to say about cultural relativism vs imperialism and whether we should be telling poorer people how to raise their children. Some very interesting philosophical issues involved! I'm not sure how I feel about that...obviously we want to break the cycle of poverty , but is that the way to do it?
It's not a matter of low-income families not having the words to speak with their children, but rather connected to other bigger issues of secure attachment, food/income/housing security and the depilating effect hopelessness and helplessness can have on a person. There is a lot of research about the level of mindfulness and self-awareness in low-income versus high socioeconomic individuals and I think that impacts how a family might connect with their children as well.
I can see that poverty could be related to less verbal language in their home. I think that poverty affects peoples lives in so many ways - they have less time and energy for their kids. To me, what i think about - is parents attachment to their kids. The article discussed that a little. Attachment/bonding with your kids brings so much to your kids. And i am sure if your spending a lot of time with your kids, your talking to them a lot too.
I was also very touched by the number of personal stories people shared with me, about growing up, or their own children or their work. I am not posting those, but that gave an even deeper perspective into the issue.