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Connecticut Families Extra: Interactions with your baby can forecast future success

Connecticut Families

(WTNH) — Reading, playing, and talking with your baby or toddler are fun ways to bond. Now research shows simple activities like these could also help them out later on.

Researchers at Purdue University studied more than 1,300 families and followed their children from one month to age 15. They evaluated how mothers and caregivers interacted with the little ones when they were six, 15, 24, and 36 months old. Later the scientists analyzed the children’s math and vocabulary skills by looking at achievement scores.

Results showed moms and caregivers who provided more stimulating and responsive interactions with their babies and toddlers during the first three years of life had children who performed better on both math and vocab assessments.

Examples of stimulating and responsive parenting include:

  • Regularly talking to a child
  • Reading a book
  • Providing positive and constructive feedback
  • Responding to a child with warm regard

The bottom line? Working with your baby now could pay off years down the road!

The study also found that children who had less stimulating or responsive interactions with caretakers or mothers performed poorly in mathematics later in life, and having high-quality interactions appear to buffer against this effect.

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