One influential studies found that in the first 3 years of a child’s life, those in wealthy families they have heard around 30 millions more words than those from poor backgrounds. This word gap can set them back for years to come.
Children in poverty hear fewer adult words and it is not because their parents are bad parents. It is because their mom and dad are working two jobs.
There are tons of research that shows that the back and forth conversation between an adult and a child really benefit the child long term. On daily basis, the effect is over and above the socioeconomics status.
"If you are worried about putting food on the table tonight, or scraping together money for that medical bill, or figuring out where to enroll your child in school now that you have been evicted from your neighborhood, you may be less likely to narrate the color of the sky to your child as you ride together on the bus," the study concludes.
Hence, parenting training alone may not be sufficient to close the academic achievement gap without addressing the broader issue of income inequality.
Imagine ourselves working 2 jobs, trying to entertain our children. Wouldn’t we be restless and inattentive too? Wouldn’t talking to anyone would be the last thing to do when we are very tired?
Source: The Economist