I usually like New York Times health writer Jane E. Brody.
But late last night, I read her ridiculous piece called From Birth, Engage Your Child with Talk. I read it on my iPhone when I wasn’t talking to my children. Maybe I should have woken them up. Here’s what Brody writes:
I recently stopped to congratulate a young mother pushing her toddler in a stroller. The woman had been talking to her barely verbal daughter all the way up the block, pointing out things they had passed, asking questions like “What color are those flowers?” and talking about what they would do when they got to the park.
This is a rare occurrence in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I told her. All too often, the mothers and nannies I see are tuned in to their cellphones, BlackBerrys and iPods, not their young children.
It goes on to say that we should talk to our kids more. Mimic them, encourage them, tell them where we’re going, what we’re about to do, and what’s going on when we get there.
Maybe Brody needs to visit Montclair. Moms here blabber everywhere.
They’re at Whole Foods talking organic diapers and Happy Baby flavors with their 3-month-olds. At the park, they’re singing while they push the swings. I have to turn up my iPod to tune it all out. I do this when my 2-year-old is with me–or at least, I think he is.
Sure, I see iPhone addicted parents, but I don’t think they’re stunting their children’s learning while they email their preschool teachers about how Sofia did in school that day. We’re already hypervigilant about our kids’ education and development. I mean, most of our kids get homework in preschool. I just highly doubt that we’re talking to our kids less these days. All around me, it seems like parents–including myself–don’t shut up.
Alice Bradley, Finslippy mommy blogger who recently left Baristaville for Brooklyn wrote today:
Strangely enough, I did actually talk quite a bit with and around my son, but it was mainly for my own foolish, self-centered reasons. For instance: I wanted to keep from going insane. Also: it was fun to talk to him and hear him coo back at me. What a jerk I was. But I must admit: sometimes I did talk on the phone, Jane. To someone else. Because I wanted to hear the voice of a fellow adult, Jane. I did. And I would pretend I was talking to him, and he would laugh and chortle as if we were having a conversation when in fact that conversation was with someone else entirely. What kind of monster was I? I’m sure you would know.
Photo by Weda3eah*