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Quarantine is Talk Time : Talk to Me Mama

Illinois Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

ILASCD Conference 3-6-20

By the end of the conference of educators the hotel was posting signs on the doors reminding people to wash their hands. We drove home to radio announcements of quarantines in Italy and South Korea. When the governor closed school systems statewide, just about everyone began to prepare for life as we never knew it. What could possibly be the up side?

Quarantine means more time at home. More time to spend talking with babies and toddlers is an absolute up for babies and toddlers. They gain hugs, smiles, and vocabulary that research says will be a life-long plus for them. But, there are plenty of parents who have never had the time or inclination to tune into what babies are saying when their speaking vocabulary consists of screaming, pointing, smiling and “dada.” What is the conversational up-side for parents?

As a child’s first teacher, parents under quarantine have the state-ordered time to tune in to what their children can communicate—which is incredibly more and more delightful than many parents have had the time to enjoy. Carve out the words to say-what-you-see your toddler doing and notice how your infant understands some of those words. Make up hand-washing songs. Dance around the table to your favorite music with your favorite toddler before dinner. Silly words and off-key songs are an up if parents let their children unlock the silly drawer and have a good time.


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