The 21st Century upper-middle class parent speaks constantly and encouragingly to his or her child, thus readying the little one for the SAT Verbal in 10 or 15 years. But, other cultures have not always demanded that parents speak to their children frequently. For example, here is the story of a man whose parents almost never spoke to him, which presumably accounts for his notoriously small vocabulary.
Only once do I remember my father having breathed a word of complaint about his fortunes to me, and that for a passing moment. ... He had been very angry and disturbed. Understanding at once that I was distressed, he took occasion to reassure me. I then had one of the three or four long intimate conversations with him which are all I can boast. He explained how old people were not always very considerate towards young people, that they were absorbed in their own affairs and might well speak roughly in sudden annoyance. … I listened spellbound to this sudden complete departure from his usual reserve, amazed at his intimate comprehension of all my affairs.