• Thirty Million Words

  • Building a Child's Brain
  • By: Dana Suskind
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The founder and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, Professor Dana Suskind, explains why the most important - and astoundingly simple - thing you can do for your child’s future success in life is to to talk to them.

What nurtures the brain to optimum intelligence and stability?

It is a secret hiding in plain sight: The most important thing we can do for our children is to have conversations with them. The way you talk with your growing child literally builds his or her brain. Parent talk can drastically improve school readiness and lifelong learning in everything from math to art. Indeed, parent-child talk is a fundamental, critical factor in building grit, self-control, leadership skills, and generosity. It is crucial to making the most in life of the luck you have with your genes.

This landmark account of a new scientific perspective describes what works and what doesn't (baby talk is fine; relentless correction isn't). Discover how to create the best "language environments" for children by following the simple structure of the Three Ts: Tune In, Talk More, Take Turns. Dr. Suskind and her colleagues around the country have worked with thousands of families; now their insights and successful, measured approaches are available to all.

This is the first book to reveal how and why the first step in nurturing successful lives is talking to children in ways that build their brains. Your family - and our nation - need to know.

Nominated for the Books for a Better Life Award

©2015 Dana Suskind (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Suskind has] written a book that gives parents the tools they need to maximize their children’s potential, one word at a time.” (Pregnancy and Newborn)

“Parents, other caregivers, and early childhood educators will be moved and inspired by this work.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“Suskind's vision is empowering, her methods are surprisingly simple to execute, and the results have been proven to nurture children toward becoming stable, empathetic adults. Informative, exciting new data that confirms the significant benefits gained by talking to your child.” (Kirkus Reviews)

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What listeners say about Thirty Million Words

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  • Overall
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I wish I would read this book before!

Dana is amazing doctor and person. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone.

2 people found this helpful

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Starts Interesting, gets Repetitive, Then Preachy

Would you try another book from Dana Suskind and/or Kathleen McInerney?

Maybe, but I'd read more reviews before I tried

If you’ve listened to books by Dana Suskind before, how does this one compare?

n/a

Have you listened to any of Kathleen McInerney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

n/a

Do you think Thirty Million Words needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no, it covered the subject well, then got too repetitive

Any additional comments?

I bought this book to learn more about what I could be doing to help my children grow mentally, and there are some good thoughts. Good thing I'd been doing some of the 'right' things, as they are older than three now, but I can still apply the lessons. This book definitely started out interesting and I definitely learned a few things.

About half way through it starts to get a little repetitive, then gets preachy with the 'call to action' stuff... I could have stopped about 2/3 of the way through and gotten all I needed out of it. But I'm glad I finished it.

2 people found this helpful

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Good but too long for content

Perhaps I got irritated with the reader, or maybe not... The parts are beneficial and offered helpful info but the latter speaks of macro applications and society wide changes that are not useful for parent readers -- noble, but not very helpful.
A good book to go through nonetheless, although several solid journal article would have covered the same content, but still a good use of audible credit.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JD
  • 11-13-15

Great start - finished poorly

The basis of this book is wonderful! The 3 Ts are great!! The basic info is great.

Then last 2 hours turned into a socialist manifesto. Would have loved it if u just stuck to the facts. Government doesn't belong in my home or as a part of my education. Let me incorporate this in my own please and thank you.

2 people found this helpful

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Great topic

I love this topic and I think it’s very important for all parents to gain an understanding of how, and how much, to communicate with their children.

The main concept here is the 3 Ts: Tune in, Talk more, and Take turns.

I felt like the book could have been quite a bit shorter as I lost interest 3/4 of the way through. The information seemed to repeat itself and I struggled to complete this book. I don’t think I gained anything out of the last portion of the book.

I would have loved more specific examples of age and developmentally appropriate conversations to have with children. It would have been helpful to break things down into age categories and teach us how to build on what we are communicating with our children.

It seemed like much of what the book was doing was justifying the methods. If someone’s already over halfway through with the book, it’s safe to say they don’t need to read these justifications!

I highly recommend listening/reading to about 70-80% of this book and moving on :)

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imprescindible para cualquier tutor

el contenido es increíble y muy práctico para cualquier padre o tutor de familia

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Very good, science - based advice

excellent science-based actionable advice on how to help your child improve their executive function and overall behavior and brain development

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Good read....

I will never understand why literacy and early childhood development aren’t the major focus of our national agenda.... it would solve so many of our challenges....

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A bit long

I enjoyed this book. Although I felt the book could have been a little more concise. A lot of repetitive concepts.

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Every Parent should read!

Very educational and well worth the read!
Every new parent should take time read read the benefits of talking with your child.