Welcome to Bathtub Tales!
Way back in the spring of 2020, we launched a study. Remember that strange and scary time? Unprecedented, we were told, over and over again.
We wanted to understand how all of the changes going on around parents of young children were affecting them—from big shifts like job losses, changes to government restrictions around the pandemic, and receiving stimulus checks, to the everyday experience of worry and disruptions to routine.
As researchers, we've been very interested in the ways parents talk to their kids. Some tend to be more talkative, others less; some engage in lots of emotion-talk, others focus on getting things done. But even a talkative caregiver has their quiet days. We were curious: how does this change each day? And more than that, does it change in meaningful ways, depending on what a parent is experiencing?
To ask these questions, we homed in on age range—young kids who were 1.5-3 years old, who are rapidly learning new words—and a context—bathtime. We wanted to know how caregivers' speech during this consistent context, which happens regularly in the lives of young children, changed day-to-day. This study has also allowed us to ask a number of other cool questions, like what affected parents' mood each day?
In this blog, we lift open the hood of the research car, so to speak. We share insight on our process, the experiences of our families, and early results from our studies.
Please enjoy, and stay tuned for a new post every third week of the month!