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Do parents have low expectations?

(200 Posts)
mrz Wed 30-Mar-16 08:19:46

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/12206787/Parents-low-expectations-condemning-toddlers-them-to-a-life-of-underachievement.html

raininginspringtime Wed 30-Mar-16 08:24:28

How interesting.

I suspect that it is accurate enough, although 'low expectations' is a slightly misleading term - 'lack of knowledge about development' might be more accurate. The headline may put many on the defensive somewhat ('well MY child ...')

Gisla Wed 30-Mar-16 08:30:02

Are they confusing (or deliberately ignoring) the difference between normal toddler behaviour and that of a neglected toddler?

Maybe they should introduce some end of nursery exams to fix this?

kesstrel Wed 30-Mar-16 08:41:09

Gisla The headline is misleading. The article talks about around 20% of children (and thus parents) having this problem.

I was in my dentist's reception area yesterday. A young mother there was repeatedly telling her son "be quiet, you talk too much". It was painful to watch.

mrz Wed 30-Mar-16 08:44:29

www.savethechildren.org.uk/failure-to-stimulate-toddlers-brains-could-set-them-back-for-decades I don't think it has anything to do with "neglect"

RubySparks Wed 30-Mar-16 08:53:57

What about investing in the parents then, teaching them how to interact with their children from an early stage? Otherwise this will become about formal teaching of 2 and 3 year olds in nursery which isn't needed and is the opposite of the idea of free play based learning that is successful in other countries.

raininginspringtime Wed 30-Mar-16 08:55:50

what about investing in the parents then

Because unless you make it compulsory (impractical) it just won't work.

greenbloom Wed 30-Mar-16 09:02:08

Maybe it has more to do with the fact that it can be hard to know what a toddler can do or should be able to do in terms of development - especially with a first one.
The lack of vocabulary in some struggling readers is fairly shocking, so perhaps the two things are linked.

IdaJones Wed 30-Mar-16 09:04:39

I suppose that was where Sure Start was good because it supported parents and helped with parenting skills/interactions in a stimulating environment. It seems like that approach has been given up on in favour of a push to increase nursery hours ever further.

LittleBearPad Wed 30-Mar-16 09:05:36

I haven't got a clue how many words my three year old knows. I know she seems pretty articulate. If a researcher asked me I'd probably gaze blankly at them and randomly guess.

Toddlers don't need teaching. They need people who are engaged with them and their interests and who just talk to them.

popperdoodles Wed 30-Mar-16 09:05:46

I think proper knowledge of child development is important and really benefits children. Early years are critical in my opinion. I don't think parents have too lower expectations I just think they/ we don't always know which skills are important at that age.

LittleBearPad Wed 30-Mar-16 09:06:19

And read to them I should have added.

popperdoodles Wed 30-Mar-16 09:09:08

Just to add the range of typical development is also quite broad so it can be difficult to know what to expect of your toddlers language for example.

TheOddity Wed 30-Mar-16 09:11:54

Surestart was good at getting more people closer to professionals with this knowledge in a non threatening environment and teaching them in a fun and inclusive way. Whoever came up with it was really onto something. It HAS to come from parents, not teachers. It's about learning to interact with your child. But you have to want to do that in the first place, and it can sometimes be tedious.

kesstrel Wed 30-Mar-16 09:26:42

The biggest study ever into how best to help disadvantaged pre-schoolers actually found that play-based learning works best when mixed with short, fun, intensive, interactive group instruction sessions.

www.city-journal.org/2008/18_4_pre-k.html.

Unfortunately, its findings have been largely ignored, just as the psychological research evidence in favour of phonics was ignored for so long.

irvine101 Wed 30-Mar-16 09:41:59

I can't remember where I read it, but I read an article somewhere long time ago that it's possible to bring up child's IQ from average to about 130 before age of 5, when their brain is expanding in capacity. I wonder if it's true.

mrz Wed 30-Mar-16 10:02:54

The report isn't about "formal" education or IQ

irvine101 Wed 30-Mar-16 10:22:31

Yeah, the article wasn't about formal education either, but it was about what you should be doing with toddlers and it will ultimately bring up IQ of a child easily before 5. I think it was all about normal stuff, reading to your child, counting with your child, talk with your child etc.

kesstrel Wed 30-Mar-16 10:22:54

Agreed, Mrz. But we've been trying for a long time to target this 20% of parents, to help them change how they interact with their children, and it hasn't really worked very well. That was one of the problems with Surestart, that it wasn't reaching the target group, who are often suspicious of getting involved in anything "official"; instead it was being used by large numbers of middle class parents.

From the article: “The problem of poor early language and communication skills is much more prevalent among lower income families where perhaps the parents might themselves have struggled at school.” Also, If parents themselves have limited vocabulary (as suggested by the Hart Risley study), or have other problems such as mental health difficulties or addiction, that too could contribute to them not being able to provide the desired language-rich environment.

NotCitrus Wed 30-Mar-16 10:25:40

When people ask me for parenting advice (a bunch of my friends have younger children than mine) I tell them that the more I learn about child psychology, the more useful I find it - knowing why preschoolers do the same annoying thing repeatedly, why 4yos ask the same questions again and again, that children learn loads of words very quickly but struggle with sentence structure for much longer (before you do X, do Y will be misunderstood by many 5yos), that 4yos are still developing impulse control and playing with fantasy vs reality, rather than just being naughty and lying - all incredibly useful and stops me losing it with my 4yo. I think it's not that parentshave low expectations but have unreasonably high ones in some areas and none in others.

irvine101 Wed 30-Mar-16 10:32:05

kestrel,
" If parents themselves have limited vocabulary"
I do have limited vocabulary. I am foreigner. So I could not be able to " provide the desired language-rich environment." I feel guilty about it.

kesstrel Wed 30-Mar-16 10:35:35

Notcitrus That's very true. My daughter was a child protection social worker briefly, and a number of young mothers genuninely attribute a desire to "wind them up, to explain the crying of their tiny babies. (There's a technical name for this inappropriate view of the developmental sophistication of infants, but I can't remember it.)

kesstrel Wed 30-Mar-16 10:40:07

Irvine Please don't feel guilty - presumably you talked to them in your native language? That's all that's required for normal language/conceptual mental development; as long as that's happening, picking up the corresponding vocabulary in the second language should happen relatively easily.

irvine101 Wed 30-Mar-16 10:49:08

Thank you kestrel. He was a selective mute in nursery. I always wondered it's because of me being a foreigner.

kesstrel Wed 30-Mar-16 10:51:07

I don't think that's very likely. It must have been very worrying for you. I hope he is ok now. flowers

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