Parents Can Improve a Child’s Language Skills at Home with 5 Tips
Parents play an important role in improving their child’s development of speech and language skills. Although language is something that children learn naturally, sometimes they need the push and guided help from their parents to show clear improvements in getting to age appropriate language or speech abilities.
While there are natural progressions and stages of language development, each kid will progress at their own pace but parents can be proactive to help their child. Speech therapists often use a parent coaching model to help parents learn speech strategies to use at home. Here are some.
When you are working with your children to improve their language skills, your primary goal should be to help them achieve the next level of complexity. Today, you can create plenty of language interactions with whatever you already have in your home. This post will cover the most effective activities for toddler speech therapy at home.
We have listed the best strategies you can use to help your kid with speech and language development:
1. Let Your Child Speak for Themselves
Instead of restricting your children to express themselves and repeating his statements back to him with corrected pronunciation, give them a chance to speak freely.
By creating a positive atmosphere at home, you can encourage them to use their own words. It will let you know what they require or want exactly. Also, remind them that making mistakes is a normal and essential part of learning a language. Also, do not forget to applaud your toddler for his hard work.
2. Use the Power of Play
Children usually learn well via play-based interactions because it allows different brain areas to work together and play helps promote language development. That’s why speech therapists always play with toddlers or little kids and also promote that parents do the same when trying to improve speech or language skills. Take out 10 to 20 minutes daily to play with your little one. Fun games offer a relaxed environment where your kid can practice new words and freely express themselves.
When playing with your toddler, you can consider the game they are most interested in and narrate his actions to help them understand. It’s also essential to use short and direct phrases that they can process quickly, such as “red car” or “get the ball.”.
Simple phrases might be grammatically incorrect sometimes but have the power to help your child understand the fundamentals of the language. It is completely okay if your kid does not imitate you in exactly the right way
Pretend play is a great opportunity for parents to dress up, use old toys in new ways, read a new book, or even talk about what time travel is with their child. When they imagine and pretend with their child there is an opportunity to use new words and expose a child to new ideas. This helps improve their language skills with new vocabulary, develop their imagination and get them curious about the world.
3. Listen Actively and Interpret
Active listening is a great way to enhance your communication with your toddler. It signifies that you’re eagerly interested in what he has to say. As a result, your kid will generally feel less structured but more supported. Remember, kids who feel respectfully listened to by their parents tend to follow their advice and guidance freely.
So, if you can hear their disappointment, acknowledge their dissatisfaction and accept their irritation. It’s also a good idea to ask questions you have associated with their conversation.
Also, if your child is pointing at a water bottle, remember they are communicating with you, and want to drink water. You can take this to the next level by interpreting what he is trying to tell you. Instead of just handing them the bottle, say an age appropriate phrase like: “more water,” or “take the bottle.”
Here are some tips to follow while practicing active listening:
- Make an eye-to-eye contact
- Get down to your kid’s level
- Give full attention to your little one
- Reflect and repeat what he is feeling or saying
4. Read to Your Child
Reading and storytelling are the fun toddler speech delay exercises that you can take advantage of to promote language development in your toddler. You can begin reading when your child is a baby since they are even listening since birth. Use books with contrasting colors to catch their eye and use the voice you would use with them all the time to stimulate attention.
One study found that reading one book daily can expose children to 1.4 million+ words than the kids who are not used to reading at kindergarten. Find the age-appropriate board books, picture books, or soft books that motivate your little one to see while you name the images. Reading the same books, again and again, can help your kid develop language skills because you are repeating the vocabulary words over and over again.
Reading stories together can:
- Make your little one curious about the world around them
- Help teach how to concentrate, focus, interact jointly on an activity
- Improve early literacy skills
- Support your child’s potential to learn new words, sounds
5. Use Daily Situations
Using everyday situations and interactions with your child is one of the excellent ways to enhance speech and language skills. Try to name foods at the grocery store, talk about your day, pinpoint objects around your house, etc. Make sure to keep the messages and words simple.
By doing this, you are giving food to your little one’s brain for language development. The good rule of thumb is to use one more word than what your little one uses independently. For example – ‘give ball,’ ‘big ball,’ etc. If your kid is not yet ready to use words, prepare them by labeling different things in your home.
If your child feels nervous about speaking in specific situations, take some time to practice the scenario with them. It will make your kid more comfortable when the real situation happens. For example, practice what your child might need to say on the first day of school like: “I’m Brian,” or “Hi, teacher.”
Did I Cause My Child’s Speech Delay?
Kids develop language at a different pace. But when your little one finds difficulty with understanding or speaking at an age appropriate level, it is called language delay. So, if you think your little one has a speech delay and you are blaming yourself for it, don’t. We are hard-wired to learn speech and language just by listening to those around us. When kids don’t it’s not because parents didn’t set out specific times to sit and teach them.
It’s important for parents to remember that language or speech delay can be treated with help from a speech language pathologist. If you suspect that your child is not speaking at an age appropriate level, it’s best to consult your family pediatrician or a speech language pathologist near you. Therapy support for toddlers or preschoolers with a speech or language delay is worth starting early because as time goes on, it takes more time to catch up.
From the time your little one comes into the world; they understand what’s going on around them. The first few years are essential to the development of language, speech, and cognitive skills. The development of language skills in kids is a process that continues during the first five years of their life and it’s important to not waste time hoping a child with a communication delay will just catch up on their own.
For typically developing kids, learning a language is easy. But parenting a child with a language delay can be tough. So if you are wondering does my child needs speech therapy at home, the simple answer may be ‘yes’ or at least, the answer is get an opinion from a speech therapist. Effective speech therapy can help your kid learn to talk well without hiring seasoned speech therapists.
At Therapy Works Together we provide speech therapy services to children and adults.
We care about every client achieving their communication goals.