Top Language Tip from a Speech Therapist

Top Language Tip from a Speech Therapist

This makes a difference ⬇️⬇️

Sometimes adults so badly want to hear their kids speak or hear them use good manners that they make kids copy them, or set the expectation that they won't get what they're asking for until they've 'performed'.

But making children COPY us isn't the best way to teach them. Here's why.

Modelling is the posh word for showing or teaching kids what to do by doing it ourselves. We can model language, we can model good behaviour, we can model life skills. With repetition and time, children will learn all of these things from us and naturally start to do it themselves when the same situations occur.

When we force a child to imitate us, we're just teaching them to be parrots. They learn "i must copy whatever my parent says to get the thing I want", which takes away from the real learning we want them to do. It also piles heaps of pressure on them to perform, which can hinder them doing it themselves with confidence.

INSTEAD: When you're modelling - do just that.
Say what you'd like to hear them say in that moment, but don't expect anything back.
When they're ready - they will say it. But don't force it.

HEAR ME in this situation where Etta wanted the swing I was on. She said "i borrow it for a moment" which made sense, but may not have to another child if she was negotiating play. I modelled "please can I have a turn" a couple of times as if I was her, then I just responded as me and gave her a turn.
I didn't force her to copy me in order to get a turn. I just modelled for her what she could do next time.
The same with saying "thank you, mummy" - only with that one she chose to copy me.

When we model for our kids what they COULD say in play when they don't have the right words, we're setting them up for more successful interactions with their peers. We're also setting them up to say please and thank you in the appropriate places WHEN THEY'RE READY, not because we've forced it.

What are your beliefs around pleases and thank you's?
Do you feel confident to model language like this?

Let me know in the comments.

You've got this.

Watch the full reel here

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