What about poor people who talk a lot?


NY Birdcage Liner:

The Power of Talking to Your Baby

By the time a poor child is 1 year old, she has most likely already fallen behind middle-class children in her ability to talk, understand and learn. The gap between poor children and wealthier ones widens each year, and by high school it has become a chasm. American attempts to close this gap in schools have largely failed, and a consensus is starting to build that these attempts must start long before school — before preschool, perhaps even before birth.

There is no consensus, however, about what form these attempts should take, because there is no consensus about the problem itself. What is it about poverty that limits a child’s ability to learn? Researchers have answered the question in different ways: Is it exposure to lead? Character issues like a lack of self-control or failure to think of future consequences? The effects of high levels of stress hormones? The lack of a culture of reading?

Another idea, however, is creeping into the policy debate: that the key to early learning is talking — specifically, a child’s exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3, the more the better.


All parents gave their children directives like “Put away your toy!” or “Don’t eat that!” But interaction was more likely to stop there for parents on welfare, while as a family’s income and educational levels rose, those interactions were more likely to be just the beginning.

The disparity was staggering. Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family. And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.

This is one of those studies that looks impressive until you realize that there are some serious flaws with causation and data gathering. What about poor people who talk a lot? What about taciturn rich people? What about rich kids with working-class nannies?

I’m not sure when it started but there is a school of thought that you can turn kids into super-geniuses if you start young enough. I’ve always felt sorry for the kids who are subjected to these ridiculous training regimes.

Of course it’s good for kids to interact with their parents. Talking and reading to them increases their language and vocabulary. Using the television as a babysitter will turn them into Democrats drooling idiots.

But there is a saturation point where the Law of Diminishing Returns takes over. IMNSHO you can harm your kids by pushing them too hard. Kids need to be kids.

BTW- If you prep your kids for IQ tests it might raise their score but it won’t make them any smarter.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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104 Responses to What about poor people who talk a lot?

  1. 49erDweet (D) says:

    Apparently no one involved in test results analysis ever heard of Booker T Washington.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    I was gonna make this into a post. But then I said fuck it. Toure Neblett wants attention so he says crazy shit.

    Fuck him and the race card that pays his bills.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    Walter Russell Mead:

    Thatcher’s most important contribution was discovering the limits of the postwar social model. The welfare policies, state economic controls and entitlement systems established in the early- to mid-20thth century across Europe and North America were costing more and delivering less. Demographic change (fewer young people supporting more elderly retirees) and foreign competition made old entitlements unsustainable.

    “There is no alternative,” the Iron Lady said and she was right. Like it or not, we can’t go on in the old way. The numbers don’t add up.

    But what Thatcher found was a problem – not a solution. She didn’t unite her country, she polarized it. The same thing has happened in many other countries where “Thatcherism” remains a synonym for the cruel despoliation of the poor and the weak.

    The social welfare policies of the mid-20th century no longer work very well, and more and more countries don’t have the money to pay for them even if they did. Thatcher was brilliantly right that the old road led nowhere. But 34 years after Queen Elizabeth appointed her prime minister, we still don’t know what new road we should take.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    More WRM:

    Calpers’s Dangerous Rose-Tinted Investment Glasses

    The twin bankruptcies of Stockton and San Bernardino have thrust California and its troubled state pension system back into the national spotlight. Since November, Calpers has been fighting tooth and nail to make sure San Bernardino keeps up its pension payments for fear of setting a precedent that troubled cities can use bankruptcy cut back on pension costs. They have had some success (San Bernardino plans to resume its payments this summer), but the pressures on Calpers and California’s cities are likely to grow even worse before they get better.


    Consistent with the decision to lower the expected rate of return for its investments, Calpers is reportedly considering making a move to an all “passive” portfolio, which would mean lower risk but also lower returns (and fewer fees for Wall Street). All told, this would be good news. Public pension funds haven’t had a good track record with exotic Wall Street investments over the years.

    But it would also mean that the cities and state agencies paying into Calpers would have to increase their payments to keep the pension system funded at a reasonable level. As the spate of municipal bankruptcies shows, cities are already hard pressed to make payments at their current levels. That pain is going to increase.

    As unfortunate as that is, it’s better than praying for the Pension Fairy to come along and use her magic wand to make all the red ink disappear.

    California cities and counties have $60 BILLION in unfunded pension liabilities.

  5. Interesting “study” on language. We always talked to our babies. All the time. It is just how it was done. All of my kids were talking before age 1. (Yes, seriously. For Real. In two and three word sentences.) Maybe because we talked to them expecting them at some point to answer? No geniuses, and my kids had some subjects in which they did well, others not so much.
    I don’t get studies like this. What is their point?
    Oh wait. More governmental interference. That’s the point.

    • votermom says:

      It’s like trying to quantify love. Of course parents who love their babies will talk to them, coo to them, hold them, and shower them with attention. Of course babies who have loving parents thrive.

      Parents who are absent physically, mentally, or emotionally can not give their babies as much love. Duh.

      I think the point of studies like this is to waste our taxpayer money.

      • Mary says:


      • 49erDweet (D) says:

        I think well meaning but limited experience people get together and try to figure out “interesting” areas of study, somehow get funded, and then are forever more too heavily invested in the outcome to ever resort to critical thinking again. “Study” no longer means to look at and analyze, it means prove it, prove it, prove it.

      • Jadzia says:

        Frankly, I regret teaching my kids to talk. Because I am not going to have any QUIET!!!!!!! for at least another 15 years. : (

    • foxyladi14 says:

      The Nanny way 😦

  6. votermom says:

    Daily Mail on Rand Paul’s speech at Howard U


      • DeniseVB says:

        Good response to the little Obot.

        Government money for college is a loan, not free as Obama led these kids to believe. Scholarships (free money) are even harder to come by even if you work your ass off in high school, especially to get into the competitive schools.

        I don’t even think Obama would face this crowd much less take cold questions from the audience.

        • votermom says:

          Yeah, he is earning my respect more & more in terms of guts and eloquence.

        • Jadzia says:

          The problem with scholarships, at least when I was in college, is that if you are on financial aid, the school will deduct the amount of your scholarship from the grant portion of your financial aid, leaving you with the same work requirement and the same amount in student loans you would have had, had you never won the scholarship in the first place. So why bother getting the scholarship other than to put it on your resume?

      • elliesmom says:

        I don’t think the young man was ready to hear it, but it needs to be said. The federal government should only be financing what is in the national interest. The feds should only be financing education when there is a critical national shortage of people qualified to do those jobs, and the money should have strings attached. While a liberal arts education may have personal benefit, it may not have enough benefit to the whole to warrant taxpayer financing. States have done a good job of providing higher education to the citizens of their state, including zeroing in on college majors that have job opportunities in their geographical area. How kids manage to afford to go there should be managed locally, too. One of the things making government college loans ubiquitous has done is to limit the creativity of how one becomes “educated”. I had a student who was a very talented dancer. She had two offers- a dance scholarship to college and an apprenticeship at the Boston Ballet. She knew the latter was probably a better ticket to a career in the ballet, but there were no “school loans” to help her support herself during the apprenticeship so she went to college. She has her own “dance studio” and teaches 3 year olds – no college degree required. I’m not saying it was a bad choice – just that she let an opportunity of a lifetime go. The young man in the video clip is majoring in “the administration of justice”. Many of the jobs he will be eligible to apply for do not require a college degree, and others would only need an associates degree. (If he is working toward a job in forensics, he’ll need advanced degrees, and an undergraduate degree in one of the sciences would be a better choice.) The shortest path to becoming a local cop is a stint in the military police. You get the training, and when you get out, you jump to the head of the line. But he’s worried about getting other people to pay for his college education. If we said, “no”, we’d be racist scum, but I bet he could still get to be a cop or a corrections officer.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Man, Rand’s got a pair. I knew he was speaking at Howard, unfortunately it’s not getting coverage. So, thank you again UK 😀

      • Karma says:

        And of course, if they booed him it would be all over the news. Can’t have any positive news about those Reps.

        On a related note how many in the MSM noted the standing ovation Romney receive at the NAACP event?

  7. votermom says:

    This is where we are at:

    • myiq2xu says:

      HEAVEN is where:
      The police are British
      The chefs Italian
      The mechanics are German
      The lovers are French
      and it’s all organized by the Swiss

      HELL is where:
      The police are German
      The chefs are British
      The mechanics are French
      The lovers are Swiss
      and it’s all organized by the Italians!!

      • votermom says:

        LOL, I remember that. Though wouldn’t it be better if the chefs were French & the lovers were Italian?
        I wish there was an a Asian version…

        • Jadzia says:

          It depends on the chef. I’ve had some horrific meals here in France (and had lunch the day of the drivers test at a place where horsemeat hamburger, “hache cheval,” was the lunch special), but also some very good ones. But you make a good point about Italy …. maybe it’s time for a research trip. : )

        • Jadzia says:

          He’s not kidding. When I took Rafael to Naples last summer, he was told AT LEAST five times a day that he was “TOO SKINNY.” In English! God bless the Italians.

        • catarina says:

          I’ve seen the French do evil things to freshly picked vegetables.
          And some of those sauces..overkill! 🙂
          Give me Italian food any day.
          (Yes, I’m Italian..)

          As for Swiss lovers..well, I married a Swiss guy.
          He’s not a sappy romantic by any stretch but he never misses a special occasion (he’s a do-ahead person) and he does dishes, vacuums,
          makes the bed every morning, and he does his own laundry. No drama, ever. Maybe romance is overrated! 🙂

        • votermom says:

          omg that’ that guy is hilarious. Dying here. 😆

          But you make a good point about Italy …. maybe it’s time for a research trip. : )


  8. driguana says:

    Also not feeling real bloggy (love that word…teaching it to my 1 1/2 year old granddaughter right away) today. Packing up to move from Santa Fe to Delray Beach FL is getting the best of us. Plus, the two major headlines in the Santa Fe New Mexican today…Homes Sales Up Because of Improving Economy and Obamacare to provide more Healthcare than ever to poor New Mexicans. It is become harder and harder for the average person to determine what the actual facts are and so the liberal media doubles down to say whatever they want and people believe it. Not feeling real bloggy today.

  9. votermom says:

  10. What the heck is up with this bullshit? SOOOOOO glad my kids are OUT and done. Worry for my grandchildren grows by the second! Teaching in public schools that the second amendment does NOT guarantee the right to bear arms? WHO THE HELL do these people think they are?

  11. votermom says:

    I’d forgotten this, but Toomey follows the pattern of “eat with Obama, turn into a patsy”

    • Toomey the tool. Blech. He might be the Sen from my state- but he sure does not represent us. Again the bullshit with no votes counting except those in Philly.

  12. votermom says:


  13. DeniseVB says:

    For those of you who missed Michelle’s emotional speech in Chicago yesterday, cough, “I care about dead children”, cough, really missed the most bizzarro performance by a FLOTUS ever !


  14. HELENK says:

    when my kids were little one problem I had was they did not have to talk. The would point to something and the older kids would give them what ever they wanted. I had to stop that and make them ask for what they wanted. I also did not talk “baby talk” to them. That way they only had to learn the words once. I read to them and my kids read to their kids. Now I am the grandmom who sends the books to the great grandchildren. Let their parents and grand parents buy the toys and have as much fun buying them as I did.

  15. yttik22 says:

    I really hate this notion that poor people are bad parents who can’t even be bothered to talk to their kids. I also hate the implication that having a lot of money makes you a good parent.

    One problem I have with Dems/liberals is that their idea of “helping” the poor is to have the Gov take over parenting in the form of early pre-school, school lunch and breakfast, at risk programs, housing, etc, etc. How about if instead we empower parents to be parents? What if we supported creating strong families? It’s demeaning and demoralizing to have what little you can do, parent, taken away. It’s like, you can’t run your finances, can’t provide yourself housing, can’t pay for your own groceries, and now you can’t even learn how to talk to your baby.

    I hate to sound like a right winger, but family units are a foundation of our society. Native Americans lost so much when their kids where taken away and sent to Indian schools. It’s not just the loss of culture and language, it was the destruction of their entire society, their future, their stability. As a result they got extreme poverty, addiction, short life expectancy, abuse. Government is always a terrible replacement for family.

  16. votermom says:

    Uncanny valley!

  17. HELENK says:

    sure you all will be glad to know that big sis cancelled the bagpipers

  18. votermom says:

  19. HELENK says:


    Is it true that the people of Maryland are praying for a drought?

  20. votermom says:

    Jayzuz. Looks like Senate will vote on the dumb gun control bill without having a chance to read it. Obamacare redux.

  21. It’s not the volume of talking, it’s the different kinds of words they are exposed to. It really is all about vocabulary. For poor people, the best thing they can do for their babies and children is increase their own vocabulary and get vocabulary lessons for their kids online, which are often free. This is well studied. A larger vocabulary increases your learning schema, which contributes to you being able to learn more at a faster rate.

    When kids start kindergarten, the average gap in vocabulary between a poor student and a middle class student is about 50 words. But that gap grows exponentially as kids learn to read.

    Those who come to kindergarten knowing how to read will be the best advantaged. Those who learn to read in kindergarten AND have access to books and parents with a broad vocabulary come next. Poor people tend to have very undeveloped vocabularies, and this operates very much like generational poverty, securing their kids in ignorance from generation to generation.

    In addition to having that shallow vocabulary, they tend to dwell on things in circles, which is a manifestation of the stress they are under. When people are stressed or depressed, their minds run on deer trails, from one point of worry to another. Thus they talk about the same things over and over and this contributes to the limited amount of words and ideas their kids are subjected to.

    It’s a vicious system of cycles, and it will difficult to figure out how to address it. Pre-K can only do so much. Maybe in addition to information on breastfeeding that new moms receive in the hospital, they should receive a pamphlet on the importance of a diverse vocabulary in infancy and toddler years.

    • elliesmom says:

      I seldom use swear words. The English vocabulary is so rich I never wanted to limit myself. When I taught school, especially middle school, I found the kids who had the foulest mouths came from parents who also couldn’t complete a sentence without putting some vulgar word in it. I would challenge those kids to come up with a word they had never used before to express their feelings. It became a game as they tried to find a word I would have to look up, too. I think the decline of “polite” language has had a real hand in the decline of our children’s vocabulary. We could all start there.

  22. HELENK says:


    wow this guy is angry. boycott Conn.

  23. myiq2xu says:
    • myiq2xu says:
      • piper says:

        Have felt this way for a long time.

        • Jadzia says:

          You shouldn’t have to wash them “every time” and you should wash them gently to avoid ruining them. Also, I cannot recommend enough, if you can afford it, to go to one of those little-old-lady stores where an 85-year-old bra fitter with decades of experience gives you more action than many of us have seen in years. It’s expensive but worth it. The first time I went to The Towne Shop in NYC I discovered that I was off by FOUR cup sizes! Ouch. Fortunately because the ladies here, even in the country, are so fashion obsessed, we have TWO little old lady feel-ya-up shops in the nearest town (of just 15K people).

  24. HELENK says:


    he has some good ones so far this week

  25. HELENK says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Michelle Obama 2013 graduation speechs: Eastern Kentucky, Bowie State, Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet HS, Nashville.

    gas up the plane for a road trip

  26. votermom says:


  27. HELENK says:


    bin laden raid member to testify at bradley manning wikileaks trial

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