“From Infancy You Have Known”
ACCORDING to recent scientific studies, talking to infants profoundly influences the development of their brains, establishing their ability to think, reason, and solve problems. This is particularly the case during the first year of a baby’s life. The International Herald Tribune reports that some researchers now believe that “the number of words an infant hears each day is the single most important predictor of later intelligence, school success and social competence.”
The spoken words, however, must come from a person. A television or a radio, it seems, is no substitute.
Stated a neuroscientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A.: “We now know that neural connections are formed very early in life and that the infant’s brain is literally waiting for experiences to determine how connections are made. We didn’t realize until very recently how early this process begins. For example, infants have learned the sounds of their native language by the age of six months.”
Research challenges widespread opinion that babies will thrive intellectually if they are simply given plenty of love. It also highlights the importance of parents in a child’s development.
This calls to mind the words of the inspired letter of the apostle Paul to Timothy: “From infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation.” It is likely that holy writings, spoken to the infant Timothy by his believing mother and grandmother, played a key role in his development as an outstanding servant of God.—2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15.