Knowledge is power

Becoming a new mother is an adventure, but don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of story you’re expecting. 

Before I accepted my current position in life as a mother, I worked in childcare for several years and attempted to perfect my art. I have an intense passion for education, and I firmly believe in its powers. I always have, and I always will. 

Knowledge is power. Yes, I said it. Knowledge is power.

In my experience, I often hear parents say things like: “Oh, my child is too young to learn that” or “she just isn’t ready for this yet.” Don’t get me wrong; nobody knows my son better than I do, but if his teacher looked at me and told me he is indeed ready to reach a milestone, who am I to hold him back from achieving it?

Parents can’t always be blamed, and this happens more often than you’d think. Most parents simply don’t even realize how they’re holding back their own children from their fullest potential. 

This is when Texas Children’s upWORDS program stepped in, at least for me. I was pregnant but sill working when I came across the program, and I had no idea I was about to embark on an incredibly important journey. 

The upWORDS program, using LENA Smart™ curriculum from the LENA Research Foundation, involves multiple one-hour sessions over the course of four months, where parents learn how to improve their baby’s early language development while his/her brain is growing the most. 

I can’t put into words just how amazing this program is, because it teaches parents about early intervention and guides them toward building a positive learning foundation for their baby.

I had several years of childcare experience, so I entered the class thinking: “Well, this will be a nice refresher course for me.” Man, was I wrong. It was a refresher course in some ways, but also so much more. I learned not only about how an infant’s brain operates, but also about proper nutrition and methods for all the different ways I can and should talk with my baby. Notice how I said “talk with my baby” instead of “talk to my baby.”

I was also able to get involved with Talking Tips through upWORDS, which helped me explore more ways to talk with my baby. This helped my fiancé get more involved in what we were doing, too. I knew prior how brain stimulation was great for my baby’s development, but upWORDS brought this stimulation to a whole different level. 

During my time with the upWORDS program, I was able to take advantage of their child nutritionist and sleep specialist. I also enjoyed the baby massage class, and learned multiple techniques, including a few that help my child with his bowel movements. 

I learned so much during my time in the upWORDS program, and made several new friends and mentors who I can lean on. Today, my healthy 1-year-old is bilingual and working on learning his third language. 

I really can’t thank Texas Children’s upWORDS program enough for helping me raise a smarter, happier baby. I truly hope this program continues to educate mothers, because I know how important these resources will be for our future generations to come. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Texas Children’s upWORDS program, click here

Post by:

Kayla Jackson, upWORDS program participant