We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Golden Words

Would you believe it if I told you that children whose parents are professionals are exposed, on average, to 1500 more spoken words per hour than children in welfare homes? This means that children who are raised by parents who are professionals hear 2,153 words per hour in contrast to children from welfare homes who hear only 616 words per hour.

A study by Raikes also found that in “Mother-child bookreading in low-income families,” children whose parents read to them three to six times per week had greater vocabulary gains than children who were read to only once or twice a week. Children who were read to every day scored even better. And children who were read to as early as 14 months had particularly beneficial gains.

A study conducted by Hart and Risley reveals that a four year old child in a professional family will have received 560,000 more instances of encouraging feedback than discouraging feedback. An average 4-year-old child in a working-class family would have accumulated only 100,000 more encouragements than discouragements, and the average 4-year-old child in a welfare family would have accumulated a shocking 125,000 more instances of discouraging words than encouraging words.

Statistics are helpful in giving us the big picture, but they often fail to explain the heart of the problem. For example, it is important not to equate welfare with income. Children who were raised by parents who were slaves were often raised with higher morals and ethics than the children of the slave owners. So it’s not a matter of income, it’s more a matter of morals and values. And whether we find ourselves presently with the blessing of a professional career or temporarily on welfare, let’s keep in mind that our words are our greatest resource and more powerful in the raising of our children than money. Solomon, the richest man ever, reminds us that “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

Published in: on October 19, 2011 at 5:37 am  Leave a Comment