How To Help Develop Your Child’s Speech In The Early Years
As a parent, you never stop worrying. From the moment you get pregnant to the moment, they’re in your arms, saying their first words, taking their first steps, and going from one to eighteen in the blink of an eye. That worry never goes away.
Your child or children’s early years are formative to their development and to who they become in later life. More particularly, the development of their speech is influenced heavily by the teachers and the life experiences they have around them.
Some children take longer to learn, others may have learning difficulties or problems like an oral motor disorder that makes speech challenging. It’s important that you do what you can as a parent to help them in any way possible.
Here are some helpful tips that will help develop your child’s speech in their early years and beyond.
Focus on communication with your little ones on a daily basis
Communication is something they’ll need on a daily basis as they’re learning to talk. From staring at you in wonder, to making little gurgling sounds and then formulating these into more audible words, it’s always good to communicate daily.
Try to make sure your interactions are frequent when it comes to talking. If you’re talking to them on a daily basis, then they’re going to pick it up a lot quicker. While it might seem weird to do so when they’re so young, their brains are picking up everything that you say and do.
Even if it sounds odd, it’s something that shouldn’t be, especially when they’ve been able to listen to you from inside the womb at fifteen weeks.
Read to your child from a young age
Where you can, try reading to your child. Reading to your child from a young age is a great way of helping improve their language and use of words. Many books will often start off as picture books but that doesn’t mean you can’t make up your own stories as you show them.
You might also find it useful to point at the images in the book and say the words, even if there are none in the book. Reading is a fundamental skill that they’ll need when growing up, so it’s definitely something you should be encouraging from an early age.
Use everyday situations to improve their language
To help improve their speech quicker, try to use everyday situations to improve their language. If you’re going for a walk in the park, have a conversation with them – even if it’s one-sided currently.
Point out everything that you see, from the sky to the clouds in the sky, to the dogs running by. There’s so much that we see, that as adults we don’t really give much second thought to.
For children, everything is brand new, everything is alien to them. With that in mind, using these everyday situations to improve their language is well worth the effort spent.
Sing nursery songs together
While they may feel a bit excruciating to repeat over and over again, nursery songs are a great way to help the little one retain information and use this for communicating. It’s been proven that songs are even memorable to those who’re in their late stages of dementia and Alzheimers.
Any nursery songs or rhymes that offer a plethora of different words, should be sung on a daily basis in order to help improve their speech development.
Don’t criticize their speech
As easy as it can be to do, try not to criticize or correct their speech. Chances are, they’re still learning so to criticize or tell them no, might put them off from trying to say the word again. That does mean you’ll get some interesting pronunciations of words but if that’s the case, don’t stress because they’re already halfway there.
Be encouraging with their speech and if they’re having trouble, just keep repeating the word or come back to it later.
Narrate your day in front of them
Narrating is something that you want to make sure you do in front of them at all times. Again, it’s another one that can sound a little silly when it’s just you and your little one. However, it can be great for introducing more of the language that they’re trying to speak.
Helping develop your child’s speech takes time and every child is different. Don’t panic if they’re not getting it straight away. There is also plenty of professional support services out there for speech in children’s development.