The way you speak to children matters.
According a 2015 study, dismissing a child's words, ignoring them, or responding harshly instead of patiently can actually negatively impact his or her social skills as well as language and vocabulary.
To help raise awareness about this issue, The Atlanta Speech School put together a video titled "Every Opportunity." In it, a young boy describes how he feels when adults at school treat him like he's invisible or lose patience with him or his classmates. We see him give an enthusiastic "hello" to his bus driver, who ignores him by giving him zero eye contact, and a mere hand gesture to sit down. We see how this little boy's teacher angrily talks at his class after losing patience with them.
The video then shows what that same boy's day would've been like if he had been met with kindness, enthusiasm, and tolerance. The point is clearly made that positive interactions with adults will help him grow into happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult himself.
"The video was developed based on the research of the country's leading brain development and literacy experts on how to construct the 'reading brain.' It is crucial that children birth to eight receive early social and emotional engagement, and intentional development of language skills, vocabulary and comprehension to support young children in learning to read and older students in reading to learn," The Atlanta Speech School wrote in a press release. "There is rising concern across the country, and increasing effort, to attack the nation's illiteracy crisis. The tragic truth is that only 36 percent of all children in the U.S. have the ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade."
The video focuses on interactions with kids during school hours, but it should also serve as an example for how parents and other family members treat children at home.
"Though the video's message is moving enough to inspire sharing across the web, its purpose extends much farther than a 4-minute moment that makes us rethink the way we speak with children. Instead, the ultimate purpose of the video is to challenge everyone who watches to take an important next step in their own lives," The Atlanta Speech School said.
You can watch the video below:
(H/T: Huffington Post)