Helpful Hints from the
By Bonnie Arendt and
6 Steps to Help Children
Speak More Fluently
- Decrease your own rate of
- Insert frequent pauses in your speech.
- Allow the child to initiate a great
deal of the conversation.
- Decrease the number of questions and
directives in your speech.
- Eliminate any interruptions. Allow the child to finish
- Show your acceptance of the child no
matter what through praise, love, giving smiles and hugs, and taking the
time to listen and give them your undivided attention.
Guidelines for Reducing
· Allow no one in the family to interrupt
· Praise your child consistently for
everything done well and for ever attempt, even if it’s not
“perfect” to build self-confidence.
· Avoid using the word “no.”
· Make sure the child has adequate amounts of physical
activity and rest.
· Empathize. If the child talks about feelings about speech, show that
you value them.
· Try to eliminate experiences that are too
frustrating for the child, such as trying to keep up with an older sibling.
· Make eating and bed times pleasant and not
· Make speaking experiences happy.
· Avoid speaking or finishing sentences for
· Build up fluency patterns through unison
talking by saying nursery rhymes together.
· Avoid saying “hurry up” or
similar phrases that make the child feel an urgency for doing something under
Talking With Children
- Talk with, rather than at children
- Use vocabulary and sentences
appropriate to the child’s age
- Make children feel that what they say
is the most important thing in the world at that moment. Listen, allowing
the child to begin conversations.
- Model corrections in a positive
- Be comfortable talking about feelings
with the child.
- Nonverbal or body language is important
when talking with children. Make sure you face the child giving your full
attention and maintaining eye contact.
- Avoid asking open ended questions.
- If the child cries out, “I
can’t say it!” show acceptance of the disfluency by
commenting, That was hard for you, wasn’t it?” or “That
one was tough.”
- If the child is pestering you to talk
or hurried or excited say, “Take it easy. Be calm. Don’t get
excited. I have the time to hear what you want to say.”
- Show you love your child every day.