The first thing that every parent should understand when it comes to child development is that every kid is unique. Some may require a little bit more attention than others. Some may learn their motor skills before their mental skills. And some may be too smart for their own good.
Any clinic that offers speech therapy for kids in Utah will agree that a child’s speech and language skills are of the utmost importance. Besides learning it from school, you’ll also need to reinforce it at home. Here are five simple things you can do to encourage your little one’s speaking abilities at home and help them communicate effectively even at a young age.
Respond to Their Curiosity
A child’s mind is the most curious. If they wonder about something, they will either ask or take action to find out for themselves. If your kid starts to go on a curious-question-asking spree, respond.
As a parent, you’ll know when they’re playing and when they truly want an answer. Don’t dismiss a child’s curiosity. It’s at this stage when their mind absorbs information like a sponge. Feed them that knowledge.
Say It in a Song
Why do you think Hi-5 is one of the best TV series for kids? That’s because children love music. You can do the same at home. Teach your child how to identify colors, shapes, numbers and letters by putting them in a song. There are many children’s songs out there that can help you do it.
You can also create your own visual aids, and use a drawing board or regular everyday objects to help make the song more entertaining. Your child will find it easier to memorize these things if a tune is attached.
Minimize Screen Time
Many studies have linked delayed speech with excessive screen time. A child’s speaking skills are acquired through actual interaction with a person and not with someone who’s on a screen.
Though it may be very tempting to keep your child busy with a gadget, it may also be harming and slowing down their ability to learn how to converse. Instead of putting a screen in front of your little one, give them activity books to work on or a blank piece of paper and some crayons.
Cut the Baby Talk
There’s a reason they call it baby talk. It only works for babies. The moment children turn two, they must already know how to communicate in short phrases. That means they should also be hearing proper sentences from the people around them. So stop treating your toddler like a baby. This is the best time for you to teach your child how to speak properly by, well, speaking to them properly.
Compliment Them for Trying
A child learns best from the praises they receive. If they keep their toys after playing, letting them know that that makes you happy will instill a good memory in their brain. This means your child will keep doing it.
The same goes for teaching your child how to communicate verbally. Recognizing their attempts to form sentences properly will encourage them to keep trying until they get things right.
No matter how different your child’s development may be, there’s always a way to get them on the path that best suits their learning capabilities. As a parent, you have the responsibility to lead them towards that path by teaching them at home. Incorporating these things into your daily routine will teach them how to express their feelings and communicate with the people around them effectively.