5 thoughts on “Should parents be worried about teaching their babies to talk from BIRTH…

  1. I read the following article on the book’s website (www.smalltalktime.com). Hopefully will add another side to the debate:

    At Small Talk Towers, we’ve been asked many times what the book is about. We’ve also been asked whether parents really need a book on speech and language development given that most children end up talking anyway.

    To answer these questions, I always introduce two metaphors. Firstly, the metaphor of the ‘archaeologist’ . Small Talk provides an ‘archaeology’ of speech and language. Just as an archaeologist digs deep into the earth to uncover hidden layers and objects, so too does Small Talk uncover and clearly identify the (often) hidden stages and foundations upon which speech and language are built. Adults take these various foundations for granted. But to a baby who is born into a world where nothing is known and everything is new; and who doesn’t possess any language but only the capacity for language; these stages are initially challenges which need to be overcome.

    Identifying the ‘archaeological’ foundations of speech and language is an interesting exercise in itself. But the purpose of Small Talk is not only to show parents how to recognise which stage their child is at, but to show them how to help their child develop through these various stages. Here, I introduce the metaphor of the ‘gardener’. For just as a good gardener provides the right conditions and employs the best techniques to nurture his plants so that they flourish and grow, so too does Small Talk inform parents of the right conditions and best techniques to use in order to help their child master each developmental stage most efficiently and effectively.

    Of course, different children have different developmental potentials, and will possibly master each stage at different speeds. But whatever your child’s potential, Small Talk provides you with the tools and knowledge to make that developmental process as smooth and frustration-free as possible. And which parent wouldn’t want fewer tantrums in their life? At Small Talk Towers, we certainly value a tantrum-free existence!

  2. I’ve pre-ordered a copy of Small Talk for my daughter who is 8 months pregnant, but haven’t yet received it as it’s not out until Thursday. But I’m heartened by this review from a New Zealand newspaper which interviewed speech therapists / speech science academics who endorse the book’s recommendations. I hope the person who wrote the article above opens her mind to this endorsement:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10891200

  3. Hello Mary. I am sure some parents will love this book and it is just my view. I find it a shame that you are already buying a book to try to get your daughter’s baby to talk early – and he or she isn’t even born yet!! What pressure to put on your own daughter, who should surely be left to simply enjoy her baby. My own daughter was talking extremely early – with no intervention from me! If children are brought up in a loving home – ideally with a parent at home (and I was lucky as a writer to have always worked from home) – there is no need to ‘bring your children on’ like this. They will develop at their own pace. And as I found – there is no difference now between my daughter who was chatting at 9 months, my first son who said the usual words around a year and my other son who hardly said anything. They have all gone to university and come out with good degrees. They also have wonderful childhood memories of being left alone to play. Incidentally the reason I wrote this piece was because most parents worry enough about whether they are ‘good enough’, let alone feeling a failure because they aren’t getting their kids to speak early! However, for those who are interested I am sure they will find the link you have put on useful.

    1. Thanks for your reply. I have to say that I haven’t bought the book for my daughter so that she can fast-track her child and thereby miss out on the joys of childhood. Absolutely not! I have bought it because I believe the book has tips and techniques which are grounded in speech science, and, if used by a parent, can help reduce the frustration felt by a baby when there is a discrepancy between her understanding and her communication or language levels. I certainly don’t expect the book to guarantee my child a place in Oxbridge or a Nobel Prize! It can’t alter natural ability, but I hope it can help parents to bring out that potential as smoothly as possible.

      I know some great speech therapists (I work in the health care profession) who have tools and techniques at their disposal, which work wonders with kids. I hope this book will share those tools with the lay person so that we can all better understand how our children are developing and what we can do to make that developmental process run as well as possible.

      Does this make sense? It’s not about being pushy or competitive. I believe that professionals (if they are good) can help us develop the way we interact with our children. I have now received my copy of Small Talk, and I look forward to finding out if this book can do just that!

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