Stop doing this one thing if you want your child to talk more

Stop doing this one thing if you want your child to talk more


to ask our kids to say stuff to us.
Like "say hello", "say please", "say mooo", "say milk".

ESPECIALLY when our kids aren't saying many words yet and we want to hear their little voices. They might have said something cute that you want others to hear too.

Or sometimes we think - hang on I've heard you say "milk' before... I want you to say "milk" before I hand over your milk or you won't get to practice your words.

But what's really going on when parents do that is that we're putting extra pressure on our kids that can actually slow down their language development and make kids say less. Here's a few reasons why:

- They feel pressured to perform so begin to clam-up and do less spontaneous talking

- Parents miss the teaching opportunities to model other words they could say because they're asking them to repeat a word they already know and say

- Kids begin to see talking as transactional, ie if I say X then I get Y, instead of being compelled to initiate interactions more organically. A child that is using a lot of words when they are asked to isn't really communicating as functionally as a child who speaks when they want to

- They may not be able to say that word right now, so it knocks their confidence. They might be tired or hungry or thinking about something else


The BEST thing to do to encourage more talking is to stop saying 'say' and instead:
- speak as if you are your child
- repeat (model it more than once)
- leave a pause so they can copy you if they want to

So instead of saying "say milk" when you can see they want their milk, instead model:
"milk! Milk please, mummy. I want my milk". Then leave a brief pause as you hand over their milk.

👂hear how in this example you gave them 3 great models of the word 'milk' and also modelled a longer phrase of what else they could say when they're ready? You've also taken off the pressure - making in an environment where your child is more likely to imitate you and initiate language if they want to.

⭐TRUST that your child will use their words when they can and when they want to - in their own time - without us asking them to!

You've got this.

Watch the full reel here

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