Talk Time: It’s pretty important to talk to your kid

by |  November 19th, 2014

Dr. Ari Brown and Hillary Clinton

“Hello, this is CNN. We’d like you to speak with Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative next week. Can you come to New York for the day?”

I don’t get phone calls like this too often…okay pretty much never.

I replied, “Um, what do you want me to talk about?”

The producer responded, “The value of parents talking and reading to their kids.”

I mulled that over for about 2, maybe 3 seconds, and said, “Of course!”

I’m going to put this out here right now–I am not a very political person and have no party affiliation. But, the opportunity to help educate parents about the value of what they (often unknowingly) do with their kids everyday is something I could not pass up.

Together with Mrs. Clinton and an amazing group of thought leaders, I had the rare chance to teach parents that the simple act of talking to their children and reading to their kids on a daily basis is perhaps one of the most valuable things they can do to help them succeed. Believe it or not, kids who have more “talk time” with parents and caregivers start out ahead in kindergarten–and stay ahead. There is a 30 million word gap between kids who get talk time and those who don’t. The kids who hear more words are more likely to graduate high school and thrive in life.

Forget about educational toys and DVD’s. It’s the conversations while you are making dinner or carting your little one around Costco that really make the difference. Keep on talking! And, make story time part of the daily routine for your kids.


411 Pediatrics Child Development


Dr. Ari Brown is a pediatrician and a mom. Dr. Brown is Board Certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been in private practice for over 20 years. Her passion to advocate for children and educate families extends beyond the office setting. She is the co-author the bestselling "411" parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Dr. Brown has received several professional awards including the Ralph Feigin, MD Award for Professional Excellence, the prestigious Profiles in Power Award by the Austin Business Journal for her service to the community, Austin's Favorite Pediatrician by Austin Family Magazine, and Texas Monthly Magazine's Super Doctor.

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