Millennial parents are constantly looking for ways to “life-hack” their parenting and make parenthood a breeze. YouTube channel ‘Ms. Rachel’ is the newest of the tools parents are utilizing, and the results are astonishing. Parents all over social media are praising ‘Ms. Rachel’ for teaching their children to talk (along with teaching skills like sign language). Virtual learning tools are a great way to help supplement the education your child receives, but with screen time comes burnout. To prevent screen time burnout for your child, try our safe-screen home setup and management with our GKIS Connected Family Course, suitable for parents with toddlers to teens.
Who is ‘Ms. Rachel’?
‘Ms. Rachel’ is a teacher who created “Songs for Littles,” a YouTube channel that has 3.03 million subscribers and 1.7 billion views despite only having 102 videos made since its creation in early 2019. Rachel Griffin Accurso (Ms. Rachel) creates educational videos that are backed by research and learning standards important for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with the help of a large team. Accurso has a masters degree in music education from NYU and is currently working on her second masters in early childhood education.
Accurso was motivated to create the channel after her own son was diagnosed with a speech delay. Her son inspired her to create a show to encourage language development and help children reach important learning milestones. Accurso employs psychological principles like mirroring and encourages viewers to follow along with her sign and body language to build speech and language skills. Mirroring involves the mimicry of reflecting speech or behavior to help children learn to develop skills on their own.
Social Media Praise
Parents all over social media have sung high praise for Ms. Rachel, even crediting her for being the reason their children say their first words. Beyond just speaking, users have also shared videos of their kids expressing themselves using sign language.
TikTok user Cw1908 shared a video of her 2-year-old daughter signing and saying, “I want more milk, I want more.” The comments of the video are filled with parents sharing their experiences with Ms. Rachel as well. TikTok user Yesys13 writes, “OMG! My daughter is almost 3 and has a speech delay. Mrs. Rachel has helped her communicate with us a lot easier without frustration!” User Sweetness.103 writes, “I play Ms. Rachel and my baby can read for my grandbaby.”
Even parents who are cautious about screen time in infanthood share their praise for Ms. Rachel and share that the benefits outweigh their anxieties. TikTok user Nataliaa_calles shared, “I was very hesitant to allow screen time with Ivy. I heard many kids’ shows become addictive. I researched a lot of different YouTubers to help my daughter’s brain development, and Ms. Rachel was the best. Ivyanah has now learned ‘momma’ (6 months old). She’s been saying it for weeks now.”
Ms. Rachel’s videos seem to help both children who are just developing their language skills and those who are developmentally delayed. Comment by user Irisloc112 on the aforementioned video states, “My son has no word at almost 3. We started watching Ms. Rachel, and now he doesn’t stop talking 5 months later.”
It is not just moms on TikTok who are praising Ms. Rachel. Jasmin, 27, shared with GKIS all about how her child has learned to talk with the help of Ms. Rachel’s videos. “I started playing Ms. Rachel for my son when he was about 3 months old. I heard good reviews about Ms. Rachel and how she teaches kids important skills such as speech, movements, and emotions. I thought it was a great way for my son to learn at an early stage. From watching Ms. Rachel’s videos my son has learned how to say ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’. His first word was ‘Mama’ at 7 months old. He always laughs and talks while I have Ms. Rachel playing on the TV. I would recommend Ms. Rachel’s videos because I believe they can help many kids who are behind in speech development or any kids who are struggling to express their feelings and emotions.”
It turns out that grandparents are crazy for Ms. Rachel too! Dr. Bennett shared that she just returned from a weekend vacation with her first grandchild and said that is the one show that keeps his attention the whole time. She found herself singing along and repeating Ms. Rachel along with him. He too is signing as well as talking and singing.
Benefits of Teaching Language Early
Most infants begin babbling around 4 months of age and say their first recognizable word around 12 to 18 months old. Babies learn speech through socialization and the world around them. They closely watch their parents’ reactions to sounds and conversations with others. Through this observation, babies begin to mimic and mirror the people around them. The most effective way to help your child learn to speak is by spending time talking and interacting with them. However, all parents need a break, so having an occasional virtual “co-parent” can help a lot.
Delayed speech development is associated with developmental risks down the line such as academic difficulties, learning disabilities, social difficulties, anxiety, and behavioral problems. By teaching your child to learn language early, you can help to avoid these risks and reap all the benefits of early language development. Research has shown that developing a large vocabulary increases creativity. Language development also helps children understand and process their emotions, analyze ideas, develop critical thinking skills, and set the foundation for most future learning.
If you are worried about your child developing a digital injury such as screen addiction while utilizing virtual learning tools, check out our GKIS Screen Safety Essentials Course. Co-viewing the content your child is consuming and using to learn can help your child avoid burnout. When you’re tired of watching a screen, they probably are too!
Like what you read? Check out our GKIS articles “Dr. Bennett’s Developmental Psychology Crash Course for Children Ages 0-2 Years” and “GKIS Recommended Apps of Child Social and Emotional Learning”.
Thanks to CSUCI intern, Katherine Carroll for researching Ms. Rachel and language development.
I’m the mom psychologist who will help you GetKidsInternetSafe.
Onward to More Awesome Parenting,
Tracy S. Bennett, Ph.D.
Mom, Clinical Psychologist, CSUCI Adjunct Faculty
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