Children born into poverty start at a big disadvantage. To thrive, they need food, shelter, and health care. But a growing body of evidence shows there are other ways to help close the vast gap in development between poor kids and their wealthier peers—singing, talking, and playing with them.
If this sounds obvious or inconsequential, it’s not. Dealing with the stress of poverty makes it hard for many parents to establish critical bonds with their babies—bonds that lay the foundations for learning, emotional regulation, and relationships. Poor parents are “focused on survival and illness and food and health care,” says Sally Grantham-McGregor, an emeritus professor of international child health at University College London and University of the West Indies. “There’s no time to play with children—it seems frivolous.”
More of this article written by Jenny Anderson can be found here.