Among the many things for new moms to obsess about, we’re told that reading to our babies will increase their IQ:
Studies have shown that language skills — and even intelligence — are related to how many words an infant hears each day. In one study, babies whose parents spoke to them a lot (an average of 2,100 words an hour) scored higher on standard tests when they reached age 3 than did children whose parents hadn’t been as verbal. Read the entire article on Babycenter >
The task list for raising a brilliant, healthy child is never-ending! Just trying to keep up with all of the things we’re supposed to do as moms is exhausting. Serve only all-organic, homemade meals. Speak in multiple foreign languages or they will never be bilingual. Speak 2,100 words an hour or they will score lower on standard tests when they are 3. Is there a clicker like a pedometer I can buy to keep track of my words? I don’t want to miss any!
What happened to mother’s instinct guiding us through parenthood? Now we have the Internet and Blogs and Babycenter and parenting books on our Kindles to tell us exactly all of the Right Things To Do. Like reading to our babies so they are smart when they are 3. I try to be relaxed about it with the philosophy of “we didn’t have all of these Studies guiding our parents and I’ve turned out just fine.” But…
Secretly, I was a little concerned that I was ruining T’s language development because I didn’t read to him on a daily basis – because he wouldn’t pay attention when I tried!! He only wanted to eat the book UNTIL we received this treasure for Christmas.
Thomas la-la-loves this book, Heads. It’s the first book that he’ll actually sit down and let me read to him – because he’s usually too busy to sit still for longer than 30 seconds. I actually read all of the words (less than 2,100) and each page has a fun slider that moves one of the animals (like the elephant’s ears). I love watching him try to figure out how I’m making it move – he is captivated, and his eyes move from my hand to the animal to my hand to the animal… it’s really sweet, and I read him the book many times a day, and he doesn’t get bored with it! Whew. I’m reading to him. Task complete.