ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD’S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Part One:
How parents respond to their child can encourage or discourage language development. A child might say, “He eated the cake.” The child’s parents may reply, “No, not eated. That’s wrong! Say, ‘he ate the cake.’ If you were the child, which reply would encourage you to keep trying to learn?

TIPS FOR LEARNING LANGUAGE AT HOME

How parents respond to their child’s efforts to communicate is very important. Children learn best when they are encouraged to try and are praised when they succeed. When parents accept their child’s attempts to speak, the child wants to keep trying. To improve, the child must keep talking!

It is especially important for children having difficulty with language to have good experiences while learning. These tips can help parents respond to their child in positive ways. This approach can encourage learning, boost self-confidence, and make the learning experience fun for everyone.

1. BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER. Let your child know that you are listening. Show your sincere interest. Get down to the child’s eye level and look at the child. Listen to the child’s tone of voice. Notice the expressions of the child’s face, body, and hands. These will all be clues to help you understand your child’s message. Let your child know that the message is important to you.

Every parent has times when it is impossible to be an active listener. At those times, let your child know
that you care, but are just too busy to talk. If possible, tell the child that you would like to talk later. Be sure to follow through on that promise!

2. LET YOUR CHILD TALK WITHOUT INTERRUPTIONS.
Because children are just learning our complex language, it may take them a long time to put their thoughts into words. If your child feels rushed, the child’s language attempts may be unsuccessful, resulting in a bad experience. Try to set up family rules about whose turn it is to “take the floor”. Let your child finish speaking, even if the child’s “turn” is longer than other family members’.

Reference: Diann D. Grimm, M.A., CCC, Ed.S.
Communication SKill Builders Inc

Look for PART 2 coming soon!

Pam Hass
Speech Language Pathologist
Interactive Therapy Inc
pam@interactivetherapy.net
www.interactivetherapy.net