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Children’s Brains Only Hear a Quarter, or Less, of What You are Saying

In order to teach my parents about the concept of memory, I made a random, 90-second recording from a radio station in Mexico. We then shared it with the Hispanic parents in the group. You can imagine what 90 seconds sounded like: a staccato, rapid-fire cacophony of Spanish that started and stopped ever so suddenly, so much so, that it was almost incomprehensible.

The point was that the more they talk to their children, the less the children are listening.

The parents listened to the clip. They laughed hysterically. We stopped sharing the clip. I asked them, “What does this make you think of?”

During the discussion about the clip, the parents noted that the tone and the message did not match. The point was that the more they talk to their children, the less the children are listening. I elaborated for deeper understanding:

“Let me connect for you what this is like in terms of dealing with your children’s brains. Your children’s brains only hear a quarter, or less, of what you are saying to them. The less you say in trying to explain something, the better it is for them. Give one command, two commands, but no more than three commands. Don’t explain why. Your children’s brains operate just like this radio. I call this Radio Brain.”

They laughed hysterically because they recognized their part in it. As a parent, you keep talking away, and although they know you are speaking, your children are not concentrating or focusing on you or the message you are trying to convey.

Read Part 1 of Memory is the Core of Learning here.

This post is excerpted from my book ¡Andamio!, where you can learn more about ELL success through brain-based learning. Get your copy here.


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay