Brief Interventions to Increase Talking

a row of metal grocery shopping carts stacked together
Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay 
I mentioned earlier that I attended a workshop in June about Using Brief Interventions with Families with Dr. Robert Nix of UW-Madison.  One of the things he highlighted was the effect that a simple prompt can have on conversation between parents and young children when placed in a store in a low socio-economic area (see more on the study here).  Prompts encouraging parents to engage kids in conversation about where milk comes from, or what their favorite fruit is resulted in significantly longer back-and-forth conversation than when the signs weren't there.  When the sign was up in a store in a higher socio-economic area, the difference was not appreciable.

I love the idea that with a simple, friendly reminder, we can make a difference in the ways caregivers interact with their kids. In the Chippewa Valley, the Talking Is Teaching group #letstalkchippewavalley is working on finding a way to get these prompts into places like grocery stores and laundromats.  I'd love to find a way for libraries all over our region to have access to these, and to share them with local establishments.  Watch for more on this--I hope to have more to report on this idea before the year is out!

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