Raising a child, you wish you would have known earlier.
July 13, 2010 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Raising a child, what did you come across that you wished you would have known earlier.

Our son turned 2 recently. He hasn't started talking yet so we are considering speech therapy. Before we head to a speech therapist, I thought of checking out some books on raising kids in our local library. I spent at least 3 weekends in the library and found quite good information.
I also came across few ideas that we could have applied before he turned 2. Now, I am wondering, as he grows up, what would be the thing that I should know before he grows to certain age.

If you came across anything that you could have applied to your child helping them with their overall development, please share.
posted by zaxour to Education (48 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
Later on in school - Make sure he is taught to write, many school work tasks involve check boxes and circle the answer type measures and after a certain time the learning difficulty increases should you be stuck playing catch up.

You have had this child's hearing tested ......r-i-g-h-t?
posted by Freedomboy at 12:25 PM on July 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

Sleep is really important.
The way you praise your child is really important.
Consistency is really important.
Play time/free time and learning through play is really important.
Trusting your own instincts as a parent is really important.

These all apply at all ages, I think.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:30 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you haven't taken this child to a doctor with this concern yet, please do.

I won't scare you with what if's and names of conditions.. especially since IANAD; but it's a sign/symptom that more could be going on with the growth and development of your child.
posted by royalsong at 12:33 PM on July 13, 2010

Best answer: In thinking about speech delays, it's important to understand the difference between delays in speech production and delays in speech comprehension. Delays in speech production are much less significant than delays in speech comprehension.

My son had speech production delays and we've done several rounds of speech therapy. He's now 4.5 years old and finally he seems old enough for the speech therapy to be useful. Prior to that not so much. He was just too young to get.
posted by alms at 12:39 PM on July 13, 2010

Also: MeMail sent.
posted by alms at 12:39 PM on July 13, 2010

Routine is important to most kids, even into middle school.
Celebrate life events with family traditions. If you don't have any now, the web is a treasure of ideas.
Read to your kids as often as you can.
Let them play with their whole bodies as often as you read to them. Running and jumping and squealing isn't just play.
posted by toastedbeagle at 12:48 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

If he's doing something you don't want him to do, don't just say 'No'; redirect him to a desired or permissable activity. It makes it much easier for them when an alternative is provided.
posted by mollweide at 12:58 PM on July 13, 2010

Read to him. Do the voices. Sing the songs.

Try to live up to you own ideals - because kids pick up on that, not what you do.
posted by Harald74 at 1:02 PM on July 13, 2010

If your kid is asking about a topic, even if you don't think they're old enough to know, it means they think they know something about it. It's probably wise to figure out an age-appropriate response that engages them, instead of dismissing them with "You don't need to know about that until you're older."

Not that I speak from direct experience of the latter approach (thanks, Mom!) or anything. Trust me, it's a crappy idea.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:06 PM on July 13, 2010

Have you heard of something called Your Baby Can Read? It is an awesome. My 9 month old niece is advanced because of this. She says more words and does more things than an average 9 month old. There are different stages.

I'm not good at linking sites. http://www.yourbabycanread.com/
posted by zombiehoohaa at 1:15 PM on July 13, 2010

Your Baby Can Read is not empiricially shown to make any difference whatsoever.
posted by k8t at 1:23 PM on July 13, 2010 [9 favorites]

Role modeling. The way you talk to your child and to the other parent is the way your child is learning to talk to you. Not just swear words and sarcasm and yelling, but respect and validation and love will be either echoed back to you, or not. Cheating on taxes and buying hot electronics off the back of a truck will also be replicated by your kids if that's what they see, as will responsibility, and living up to your word, and working hard for what you want, if that's what you show them. Role modeling, role modeling, role modeling. Everything you say and do is what your child is learning.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2010 [9 favorites]

Best answer: The American Academy of Pediatrics lists these conditions of concern for 2-year-olds:

Developmental health watch

Does not speak at least fifteen words by eighteen months
Does not use two-word sentences by age two

(reputable, medically-reviewed) has a good overview of delayed speech.

As a data point, I thought my 2-year-old was unusually quiet...at 2-and-a-half, she says things like "How about we go get some lunch? How does that sound?" Delay is not disaster...but it's a good idea to get it checked out. Good luck.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:26 PM on July 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

Read many different child development books to get different perspectives.

Listen to your daycare provider to determine developmental milestones. At my kid's daycare they do development evaluations every 3 months.

Talk to your doctor.
posted by k8t at 1:27 PM on July 13, 2010

Your Baby Can Read is not empirically shown to make any difference whatsoever.

I'm just telling you from my experience. Watching my niece on a daily basis what it has done for her.
posted by zombiehoohaa at 1:28 PM on July 13, 2010

Not to derail the conversation further, but I think this needs to be addressed in the thread. There are basically three problems with programs like "Your Baby Can Read," none of which would be evident at the time of use, but which can cause issues later in the child's life.

First, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television whatsoever for children under 24 months, the age at which these programs are targeted. Studies show that kids this young need direct interaction with other people in order to develop appropriate emotional and cognitive skills.

Second, these programs teach very young children to memorize the way that words look. That's how they "read" when they're this young. Most education experts believe that this form of "whole language" learning is not the most effective way of teaching reading, preferring phonics so that children can continue to learn new words on their own by sounding them out instead of memorizing an endless list of shapes. Will kids who can "read" a hundred words at 2 years of age seem impressive in comparison to their peers? Absolutely. But learning to "read" by this method can actually inhibit their ability to learn more advanced reading skills later in their young lives.

Finally, young children, especially boys, who are pushed by their parents to learn reading (or really, any skill) before they're ready, have a tendency to get discouraged and give up. Pushing kids to read too early may make them less likely to become lifelong readers, and if it's not introduced appropriately, can lead to resentment between parent and child. There is no measurable difference in average reading skills by age 7 between children who read at 2 and those who read at 6.

I think the lesson is that children will do most things when they're ready, and there's a wide range of ages at which it's "appropriate" to begin to master any given skill. Laugh and talk and read and play with your child every day, and everything will be fine. Obviously, seek an expert opinion if there are symptoms of a medical problem, but otherwise, try to relax and enjoy your child.
posted by decathecting at 1:44 PM on July 13, 2010 [14 favorites]

We all know that it's good to teach your kids that actions have consequences, but it's OK if one of those consequences is "Mom and/or Dad gets angry." I don't mean rages or screaming or insulting language or anything, but it's not essential to treat the kid like you're happy as a clam at high water after discovering that they've drawn on your brand new couch with Sharpie.
posted by KathrynT at 1:45 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Encourage your child to try new things; praise effort over results.

Say this:

"You did your best and I'm proud of you for trying so hard even though it didn't work out."

not this:

"Wow, you really screwed that up."
posted by burntflowers at 1:46 PM on July 13, 2010

Biggest piece of advice, and it works from 2 to 20 - don't overprogram them. One or two things to do outside school is more than enough. I teach music lessons, and I feel a lot of these extracurricular activities are due to the parent's egos.
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:49 PM on July 13, 2010

Best answer: I've never had kids, so take this with several grains of salt. The reason I feel qualified to contribute at all, is because I spent many years working with children. I taught kindergarten and day care; I taught first-through-third graders.

I am also going to unashamedly (okay, maybe I'm a little ashamed) lace this post with my prejudices, which are these: homework is an abomination (that is getting worse and worse -- schools these days expect way more of it than schools did when I was a kid, and it was bad enough back then), and, as much as is humanly possible, it's a bad idea to punish kids in the traditional ways (spankings, time outs, groundings, etc.).

A traditional punishment is a free-floating event -- not tied to anything in the real world aside from what mom and dad want. If it teaches anything, it's the lesson that mom and dad are stronger and more powerful than you.

I am not saying you should just let your kids run out into the street. I'm making a generalization. When I was a teacher, my thought was as follows: if there isn't clear and present danger, I need to think hard before I dole out a punishment. WHY am I punishing the kid? What do I hope will be the short-term and long-term results?

Here's the most important lesson everyone in the world needs to learn: our actions have real consequences. REAL consequences are not "daddy spanks you" or "mommy gives you a time out." Those are artificial. Real consequences are things like "no one wants to hang out with you" and "you can't buy that because you spent all your money." Real consequences teach you that you can't have something you want because of something you did -- not because a grownup is putting up an artificial barrier.

There's no rational reason why not-doing-homework should, in the real world, lead to not being able to go out at night. Which is why I'm not crazy about grounding. It's arbitrary. It's an example of what I call an artificial consequence.

So, when when I wanted my students to change their behavior, the first thing I asked myself is, "Is this really important or is this just some value of mine that other people needn't share? Is it REALLY important that the blocks are all put away neatly every day?"

If it IS, then I try not to artificially punish kids who don't clean up the blocks by giving them time outs or whatever. If you don't clean up the blocks, that kind of sucks for the next person who wants to play with them. So -- as in the real world -- if you don't clean up the blocks, you don't get to play with the block again. No lecture. No judgment. Just no blocks. (Of course these things don't go on forever. Kids need to be able to show you that they've matured. They need second chances.)

Oh, and homework sucks. I work from 9-5. I don't then have to go home and do three hours of more work for my job. There are jobs where you do have to do that, but there are plenty where you don't. It's not fair that we expect that of our kids. What the hell are the teachers doing with our kids for EIGHT hours that makes this not enough time for them to learn what they need to learn?

It's hard to do much about this, I know. Many parents can't afford to home-school their kids or to place them in more enlightened private schools. I would at least try to talk to the school about this -- I would at least ask them to go easy on the homework. At the very least, I would commiserate with my kids about how much it sucks to have all this homework to do. I wouldn't take the side of the school, as many parents do. I would have frank discussions with my kids about what it means to do homework and what the consequences are of not doing it. Discussions -- never lectures.
posted by grumblebee at 1:50 PM on July 13, 2010 [23 favorites]

My mom used How to Teach Your Baby To Read with my brother and me. (book/flashcard based, not dvd based, but still a whole word approach) I took to it, he didn't. (He learned to read earlier than kindergarten, but wasn't reading chapter/series books at 3 or 4, I mean.) I have no idea if any particular system is right, but learning to read early was a boon. Mostly.
posted by wending my way at 1:50 PM on July 13, 2010

Get him in the habit of eating what you for dinner as soon as possible. Don't be like us, cooking two separate meals every night, one for the adults, and chicken nuggets (or whatever) for the kids. In the end it was no harm / no foul as they became much more open minded in their diet as teenagers, but we wasted a lot of time...

OTOH, it was a lot cheaper when we could grill them hot dogs along with our steaks. Now they both expect steaks too.
posted by COD at 1:52 PM on July 13, 2010

Nobody likes false overpraise, but remember to acknowledge when the kid does something right; don't only focus on their negative behavior.
posted by dzaz at 2:02 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and even though I don't have kids now, I would definitely not shrink from using a whole word approach to teach reading to my kids if they seemed interested, along with very, very rudimentary phonics. American English phonics are just plain stupid, in general, and I've never had a linguistics prof disagree with that.

Back in the 90s phonics were the big thing because of all of this stuff that purported to showed reading declines and dyslexia were caused by the whole word approach, but that has never been conclusively proven either, I don't believe. I don't think anyone actually knows whether both methods work equally well for all people, or if one is superior for all people, or if one is superior for a specific subset or age group or what. For example, the National Reading Panel (previously leaning toward phonics) found in its study in 2000 that "Phonics should not become the dominant component in a reading program, neither in amount of time devoted to it nor in the significance attached" and that it only works if taught in kindergarten or 1st grade to a child not already reading independently. If the kid is already reading, there were minimal to no gains.

That's why I hesitated to suggest a method - I just wanted to point out I loved having that escape. And I *did* read much, much better (as reported by the national tests) than the average reading level for my age group, though that could have been just a natural inclination toward books rather than the specific program used to teach reading.
posted by wending my way at 2:10 PM on July 13, 2010

Best answer: I am a mom of a six ½ year old and I help manage a federally funded program that provides services to children ages 0-3 with developmental delays, including speech. If your child is 24 months old and not using several words, and is not using words together he most likely has a speech delay and you would qualify for services (like speech therapy). It is a part of the federal program called IDEA (part C), but who runs it varies from state to state. Here in California where I live, we call it Early Start and it is run through the Regional Centers. Feel free to mail me if you want more info on that or help finding your state agency. Yes, get your child into speech ASAP it will help and he’ll make more progress the younger you start.

As far as overall development goes, I wish I had known about the milestones before I started this job while my now 6 ½ year old was little. The CDC has a great website with lots of developmental information tons of great info there. Also check out www.zerotothree.org for more information about your child’s cognitive and social emotional development. I wish I had known more about how much is happening with a little one’s mental health before they turn 3! They also have tons of great ideas about things to be doing to help encourage your son's development.

If you child has no words at 24 months there could also be a hearing issue in place so make sure to get that checked (although if you apply for IDEA services they do that as a part of the assessment). My son got ear tubes at 2 ½ and his language appeared to double overnight. Also sometimes kids have a hard time with motor planning to talk (something else I wish I had known) and some good occupational therapy can be very helpful with that too. A good OT and Speech therapist need to assess your son, a lot of pediatricians are (surprisingly) not able to pick up on a lot of developmental delays. (Not to put yours down, but s/he should have referred you to your IDEA program when your son was not talking at 18 months).

Good luck with everything!
posted by Palmcorder Yajna at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Check out NurtureShock. It has tons of great insights on raising kids from birth to the teen years. Many of the things that dpx.mfx mentions above are covered in detail.
posted by trigger at 2:13 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

He hasn't started talking yet so we are considering speech therapy.

Late talker and father of a late talker. If the pediatrician says don't sweat it, don't sweat it. (And see if it's in the family. It isn't all that uncommon.)

Acknowledge that the kid is the kid, not something you can mold into your idea of perfection. If he takes after uncle Louis, he will enjoy the ladies. If he takes after Great Grandfather Phineas, he will ignore trucks in favor of insects. (You can fill in your own more horrific examples.)

Actually, don't sweat too much of anything, and don't spend too much time in the library. People write books to make money.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:17 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

My son was a late speaker too. His pediatrician suggested we contact Early Intervention. We had him evaluated for hearing, speech, etc. Turns out he was just fine aside from having a very verbal older sister who was talking plenty for him! He was in speech therapy through EI for a while and did eventually start speaking fine. So: Get your son checked out. If there's nothing wrong, that's great. If there's something wrong, you'll be glad you addressed it early. Win-Win.

UNRELATED: Never make a threat you aren't prepared to carry out, like "If you throw sand one more time, we're leaving the playground!" Kids learn very quickly that parents don't mean what they say, so why should they listen?
posted by wisekaren at 2:21 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

grumblebee is very wise.
posted by toastedbeagle at 2:32 PM on July 13, 2010

Have you heard of something called Your Baby Can Read? It is an awesome. My 9 month old niece is advanced because of this. She says more words and does more things than an average 9 month old. There are different stages.

My wife is an educated, multiple-discipline-certified, experienced early childhood education expert who designs curricula for preschool-aged children. Her take on "Your Baby Can Read" and (its ilk) is that you can train a young child to do just about anything, but early childhood development is a balance of furthering many disparate skills. You can make a child focus on his/her verbal development, but it comes at a price of slower development in other areas.

For the OP, tune out whatever thinly-veiled worst-case-scenarios you're getting here about your late-talker. Your speech therapist will no doubt have some sound advice about where to go next-- don't worry until she/he tells you to.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:40 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It is the ultimate cliche about child raising, but "the days are long but the years are short" so many things you lament are over so soon, the stroller purchase, the being too tired to read at night, the years where when you are the coolest and smartest person in their life. I think there are a lot of guidelines that are dependent on the actual child's personality (my kids don't like to eat despite my making them eat the food I ate and the making them whole foods) but I think taking the time to know your child, treat them with respect, try and push yourself to be a better person-reading the book when you feel too tired answering the why questions when you don't really want to.
posted by momochan at 2:55 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would agree with Grumblebee that natural consequences are preferable. But sometimes you have to set up artificial consequences because natural consequences (of things like running into the street) are harmful or too harsh for their age. But I do agree that consequences should be conceptually related to the behavior so kids can learn.

I use time out to facilitate communication when voices are starting to get raised and emotions are flaring. I never set a timer, though. They can get out of time out when they show me they are calm and can express themselves appropriately. Then we talk about the behavior at issue calmly.

I say that grounding is a perfectly good discipline tool if it is targeted to the behavior. I ground my son from video games if he does not care for them or plays too long or without permission. But usually I couple grounding with giving him things he can do to "make good" and shorten the grounding time. A "make good" activity like caring for other equipment around the house gives him a chance to practice responsible behaviors that are the "antidote" to the earlier bad behavior.

Within developmental boundaries, make one meal. When the child wants something else, say "This is what's for dinner" but don't force the child to eat. Then let him see you eating it yourself and enjoying it. Repeated exposure to a variety of healthy foods build healthy eating habits. Save a plate of the dinner food for later when the child will likely complain of hunger and want a 'snack'. When (s)he gets hungry enough, (s)he'll eat. Worked for me. All my kids love broccoli and carrots, FWIW.

Feel free to let your child be bored. Don't be your child's recreation director and they will be more self-entertaining and resourceful. (But watch them a little more closely when they are in that "looking for something to do" mood.)

As tempting as it is for parents to do this, resist getting "educational" toys. If they're playing, they're already learning.

As they get a little older, let them know that nap time is as much for Mom and Dad as it is for them. After a certain age, we transitioned to 'Quiet Time' with a book or a quiet toy, but we still rested every day.
posted by cross_impact at 3:09 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like what dpx.mfx has to say also ...

... I find that whatever I think is a real worry in their behaviour / desires / whatever will not be the same in three months time so I try not to get too uptight about things. I don't in any way mean that I'm not caring just remember they're changing all the time and a lot of stuff sorts itself out.

Also just love them the best you can - a hell of a lot of other stuff is just by the way.
posted by southof40 at 3:35 PM on July 13, 2010

Be kind.
Be consistent.
Don't fret, or if you don't do it around the child.
Don't hit them.
Don't yell.
Apologize when you are wrong.
Them you child you love him at least three times a day, even if it was a terrible, awful, no good day.
Let them know when they disappoint you. Do this with kindness, not vindictiveness.
Apologize when you disappoint them.
Keep your promises. If you cannot, apologize. Don't make promises you cannot or do not intend to keep.
Be a good person.

I suppose it all comes down to being accountable and good. Mirror the behavior you want your child to have. My parents, flawed as they were, tried to do this. For that I thank them everyday.
posted by fifilaru at 3:46 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Early Intervention, as mentioned above, is a wonderful thing and I suggest calling them tomorrow! My 18 month old isn't really talking much, but he's started recently with "Moo! Meow! La la la!" as well as a lot of babble. Before he even had a little bit of delayed speech, we had Early Invention because he had Meningitis at 7 weeks and was in the hospital for awhile, so they wanted to make sure he hit his milestones.
posted by kpht at 3:52 PM on July 13, 2010

Acknowledge that the kid is the kid, not something you can mold into your idea of perfection. If he takes after uncle Louis, he will enjoy the ladies. If he takes after Great Grandfather Phineas, he will ignore trucks in favor of insects. (You can fill in your own more horrific examples.)

Related to this is the idea that your kid might not turn out at all how you expected. And that's ok.

I am a hardcore tech geek and tough ex-misfit punk rocker who was a huge tomboy growing up. Although I've gotten it together in the looks department a little bit as I've gotten older, I can still hardly be bothered to match my own clothes most days. When my daughter was a baby, I was envisioning this rainbows and unicorns world of child rearing with gender neutral toys and of when I'd get to introduce her to cool music and start teaching her how to write code, etc.

Almost eight years later, I have a daughter is a popular, outgoing, fashion-loving girly-girl who probably spends more time getting ready in the morning than I do. She's sensitive and cries at the drop of a hat and hates getting dirty. She's really into dance and cheerleading and Justin Bieber. Most of her possessions are pink and covered in glitter.

All of these things are like a foreign language to me. Occasionally I feel a little bummed out that she doesn't take after me a little more. But I think we learn from each other a lot. Sometimes I don't understand how the kid works at all, but I sure do love her.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 4:03 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

burntflowers wrote:
Encourage your child to try new things; praise effort over results.
Say this:
"You did your best and I'm proud of you for trying so hard even though it didn't work out."
not this:
"Wow, you really screwed that up."

And not this: "You did so well! You are so smart!"

Praising innate talent over effort can backfire as well. I read about a study where kids were given a test and told they were either smart or worked hard. Then they were offered a choice of two more tests to take, and told that one was harder than the other one. The kids who were told they were smart chose the easier test, so that they could continue their success at "being smart" more easily.

So, praise effort!
posted by wwartorff at 4:50 PM on July 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Take them to am ophthalmologist to have their eyes checked before they are 5. I have a brother who is effectively blind in one eye because there was an issue with his neural pathways that was not detected in time. The doctor told my parents that after age 5, the neural pathways between the eyes and the brain fossilize and cannot be redirected, but before age 5 they can. If they had caught the problem with my brother before this happened, they could have redirected the neural pathways and saved his eye.

It is not enough to take them to a pediatrician who has them look at the wall chart; take them to a proper eye doctor who puts drops in their eyes and looks at it through a machine for a full eye workout, and do it before they are 5.
posted by JoannaC at 5:02 PM on July 13, 2010

//Take them to am ophthalmologist to have their eyes checked before they are 5//

This! My son had his first eye check up at 5 and they found a major problem that would have caused permanent blindness in one eye by age 7 or so., We had no idea. He was reading before he turned 4, liked to watch TV, etc. Instead he wore glasses until about age 11, and now will likely have fighter pilot vision for life.
posted by COD at 5:27 PM on July 13, 2010

zombiehoohaa, your niece might have been the exact same without it. It is only possible to determine if this sort of thing makes a difference by studying large groups of children, controlling for other factors, random assignment, etc.
posted by k8t at 5:36 PM on July 13, 2010


Seriously, infant and child sleep was the one thing not on our radar when we were pregnant and I dearly wish it had been. Much about the development of pediatric sleep patterns is counter-intuitive, but there is decent research in this area that can prevent the all-to-common problem of chronically overtired children. Do yourself a favor and learn about the nature of childhood sleep from a legitimate medical source such as Weissbluth or Ferber (as opposed to "baby whisperers" and the like). Bonus points for doing it before the child is born.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:57 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Talk with your child. Not AT the child, but WITH the child. Converse about stuff, point things out, ask questions, encourage them to ask questions. Be interactive with them.

As for the baby reading program, it's based on having them watch television all the time to drill the info into them. Oh sure, just what the world needs, yet another victim brainwashed by the boob tube. No thanks. That and apparently studies have shown the program makes no difference for the child's development once they start attending school.
posted by wkearney99 at 7:56 PM on July 13, 2010

Response by poster: Folks,

Thanks a million for all brilliant responses. I appreciate it very much. I learned quite a lot.

Our son's hearing is tested (twice) and no problem with it. He is extremely stubborn. He exactly knows what he wants to do and what he doesn't. We joke that he has selective hearing. A phone ring or a Skype ring, he will run to appropriate place, near the handset or a laptop but you call him with his name and no response at all.
We live in NY and we have contacted Early Intervention folks as well. We are also consulting a pediatric though.

Thanks for those who sent information by MeMail.

My question wasn't really targeted towards speech therapy. I was more looking into, as we raise our son, what points should we consider to help him become a good responsible person. I guess, I didn't articulate sentence correctly. Still, you folks have contributed really great information. Thanks again, much appreciated.
posted by zaxour at 9:50 PM on July 13, 2010

Oooh, I have another...if possible, have a job (or activity) that you love and be sure to show your kid that one of the most important things in life is to have something in your day that you love doing.

It's critical to simply model that life is fun, not a drag.
posted by dzaz at 4:24 AM on July 14, 2010

I would attribute the fact that my parents read to me as absolutely pivotal to the person I turned into today.

Anecdotally, my youngest brother was very slow to start speaking, to the point that my mom was convinced he had brain damage. But eventually he hit the ground running and is now one of the smartest and well-spoken 10 year olds I've ever seen.
posted by Vorteks at 8:13 AM on July 14, 2010

You can never take too many pictures, or have too much artwork on your refrigerator.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:13 AM on July 14, 2010

I didn´t start talking until I was three and I turned out perfectly fine. Perhaps your son is just the strong silent type :D
posted by masters2010 at 3:32 PM on July 15, 2010

I didn't start talking until very late either. My parents were getting *really* concerned. Then when I did start, it was full sentences. Turns out I had just been listening intently.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:23 PM on July 16, 2010

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