Lack of reading
Reading is a crucial activity to incorporate into your child’s routine. Even 5 minutes a day can have positive effects. Pick a time of the day that best fits you and your child’s typical routine. When reading is important then you and your child share responsibility. Make reading engaging and have your child actively participate. Point out picture details, exaggerate your tone of voice, etc.
Talking for your child
Talking for your child can make the child feel under-appreciated and frustrated. Children need to voice their opinions and thoughts. Do not assume what your child would like to say. It is important to wait for your child to respond before jumping in for them. For example, next time a child takes a toy from your child or you are ordering food, let your child step up to the plate and handle the scenario.
Forgetting about emotions
Tuning into others’ emotions is a large part of communicating successfully. Teach your child to notice how other people feel and how your child feels. When emotions are taken into consideration, social interaction breakdowns occur less frequently.
Thinking speech and language errors are silly and cute
Kids do say the darnedest things, but if we feed into speech and language errors for extended time, it could make the child feel that the errors are typical. If a child believes the errors are typical or funny it could decrease motivation to fix errors, encourage the child to make the errors more often and delay progress.
Find shared interests with your child to talk about. If your child enjoys the topic of conversation, he/she will contribute more to the conversation. Often times children can guess what the parent wants to talk about (lecturing, adult topics, planning the day, etc.) if the child starts finding the conversations with you interesting, funny or intriguing the child will be more likely to engage and get excited to talk with you.
Always forcing technology to go away
Technology is a huge part of our world now. Try to include technology in conversations with your child instead of always asking the devices to be put away or turned off. Your child may become excited to show and teach you part of their technology world. With this being said, too much technology can happen as well. Try to find a happy medium! For instance, put technology away in the car and talk for awhile; let the child(ren) take the rein on the topics.
Drill and kill
If your child is working toward therapy goals do not over drill the skills. Children need breaks and downtime. Over practicing can lead to children feeling anxious about their skills and discouraged. Try incorporating the therapy targets into daily activities without making it the focus.
No ears here
Active listening is crucial for a child’s communication development. Being attentive during conversations and answering questions during bedtime stories are great ways to enforce listening. Parents should be good role models and practice listening skills as the child talks as well. Children can tell when you are not listening. Reflect back on what your child says so they know you are paying attention and use eye contact.
Everyone is tired by the end of the day and this is when most families are all home together. Make sure you set aside time to interact with your child one-on-one. Even a couple minutes will let the child know you notice them and want to spend time with them.
Children are like absorbent, little sponges that are always soaking up their surrounding environments and learning from them. Parents must remain role models of the behavior they wish to see in their children. Children quickly change their opinions, emotions and actions based on their role models.