Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Comments please: What can we do to address the problems??

The last post looked at the fact that children's communication skills are declining and the link between lack of interaction with babies. Many people will have read it and dismissed the ideas because they feel that interacting with  babies is an innate skill and doesn't need to be thought about. The reality, however is that a huge part of society are not interacting adequately with their babies and children. This is not restricted to poorer areas of socio-economic development either as some of the worst cases of language deprivation I have seen are from high income families.

I watched some of Friday's Comic Relief's many videos of abject poverty and utter despair..... and yet ALL the parents were interacting with their babies! There was even an extremely depressing one where the mother was dying. She had no reserves to eat or stand but was still smiling and mouthing to her baby (she had too little energy to vocalise). Unfortunately both mother and baby died after the filming (I'm not watching next year as its too sad..... although I think I said that last year too!).

So why are we failing to do this now? What has changed in the West in 21st century? Are our stresses different, do we take things for granted, have we had parents who didn't bother either so our brains didn't fully develop the area necessary for interaction, empathy and higher level skills?  We can observe the problem but what is the solution? Website like 'talk to your baby' are great but how do we get the people who need to know to read it? Every time I do a  Baby Talk group it attracts those who a already know they want to learn more. The Hello Campaign is only being accessed by those who know about it.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your views please?

Another chance to see the babies at Landywood!!

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  1. Libby, you're so right. Everyone who reads your blog or mine already knows the importance of communication in a baby's early life. Is there a way to use the power of Mumsnet or other parent websites to reach the others? Messages seem to get through best from one mum to another. Are the members of your groups Mumsnetters?

  2. The trouble is if they're reading the blog they probably already know so you are right... we need to get a wider audience. The Hello campaign isn't getting to the people we need to either. I'll contact mumsnet because its so important. May be I'll say we can both help with queries and questions too.