As I mentioned recently, I’ve learned to love the school run thanks to the conversations I have with my kids. I was interested, then, to read a recent article by the brilliant Stuart Heritage. Who, incidentally, I was once on a panel with at a Mumsnet event. Thoroughly nice chap he is too.
Anyway, in said article, he comments on a study by the Journal of Neuroscience. It found that children who regularly speak with adults showed a greater development of white matter between the parts of the brain responsible for language development.
The suggestion proffered by the survey, therefore, is that the more we converse with our children, the better their language skills will be.
It’s logical, of course, but nice to have it confirmed nonetheless. Mainly because I’ve realised that we’re getting something right.
If there’s one thing that teachers and nursery staff have said to us about all three children, it’s about language. They get so much praise for their communication skills.
So much so, that I’m going to be unmodest for a moment. I’m really proud of the three of them. And, indeed, of us.
Like any parents, we worry about pretty much everything. We’re always convincing ourselves that we don’t do some things well enough.
Do they spend enough time outdoors? Are they getting too much screen time? Should they be doing more after-school clubs?
Happily, I have no concerns whatsoever with their communication skills. We love chatting with the kids and I think the feeling is mutual.
The things they come out with are so thought-provoking and funny and, conversely, I genuinely think that engaging with them helps keep us young(ish) too.
I’ve learned all kinds of things thanks to speaking with my kids and listening to what they have to say as well.
Just in case this all sounds a bit saccharine, please rest assured that there comes a time every day when I wish they would be quiet for a few hours and go to sleep. Oh yes.
I guess the point of this post is that we should take a moment here and there to be kind to ourselves. We all fall into the trap of worrying about whether we’re failing as parents now and then.
And, while we absolutely should be self-critical to a degree, we should also congratulate ourselves for things that we’re doing well at.
Parenting is anything but easy and we’re only human and therefore far from perfect. But I think that stepping away from a negative mindset and celebrating getting things right is the way forward.
So yay us.
What have you aced recently? Go on, give yourself the credit you deserve.