Subtleties in Language can Make – or Break – How a Child’s View of the World is Shaped

bos 010513 butterflies res” by Philippe Put licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: Houston Chronicle

A Study published in “Child Development” found that speaking in generalizations shapes how children, by the age of two, think of people of a particular identity.

Even neutral generalizations could have a negative impact, leading children to believe that certain traits can be assumed about entire groups that identify in a particular way. (Learn about the study: here) It is particularly important for parents, as primary influencers in children’s lives, to be mindful about how they speak of others.

Trading a statement like: “Hispanics live in the Bronx” for “Her family is Hispanic and lives in the Bronx” would be one example of avoiding generalizations.

Speaking in generalizations suggests that we can assume things about people and understand them, just by their race, gender, ethnicity or religion.

“For young children, how we speak is often more important than what we say,” said lead researcher of the study.

Read full story at: Houston Chronicle

Children & Families, Education, News
Children & Families, Education, News