Editor’s Note: Sometimes kids stammer because they are nervous. We have some tips for you that will help your child if she does. Our member mommybird has shared them with us. However, if you feel that your child’s stammering is more deep rooted then it is best to consult a doctor. If you have any tips that will reduce a child’s stammering then write in to us here.
The first thing you need to find out about your child’s stammering is:
- Does she stammer with the first syllabi? Eg: S.s.s.s.s soda
- Does she stammer out of excitement.
Notice your child’s face movements, whether she clutches something, or contorts her face during stammering. That can give you indications whether stammering will continue or not.
Occasional stammering at this age because of all the new words in mind is normal.
When your child is stammering never ask her to slow down. This will adversely affect her confidence.
One Indian home remedy is to put koozhangal – soft stone in the child’s mouth and make her talk. However, if your child is very young it is better to avoid this trick. Instead practice therapeutic techniques at home.
You can follow the below mentioned tips to help your child relax and find her voice. Here are some of the most commonly suggested strategies:
- When your child stumbles or gets stuck during a sentence, maintain normal eye contact and calmly wait for her to finish. Don’t finish sentences for her.
- Talk to her in slow, relaxed tones. If you speak hurriedly, your child may rush to keep up with you.
- Keep a pleasant, relaxed expression on your face when your child’s talking — smile if you can. If you look frustrated, your child will pick up on this and be even more self-conscious. There’s no need at this point to let her know her stuttering is frustrating or worrisome for you.
- Avoid correcting her. Instead, simply repeat the sentence fluently yourself so that your child will know that you understood her and hear how it’s supposed to sound.
- Set aside time each day for pleasant, stress-free conversation.
- Try not to interrupt your child, and prevent others from interrupting her too.
- If you turn away and act hurried, your child will feel pressure to “get it out,” and this will only make her stuttering worse. Let her know ahead of time when you’re unavailable to talk — when you’re cooking dinner, for example. Promise to tell hier as soon as you’re free to listen — and then follow through.
- Don’t tell your child to “slow down” or “start over.” Even if you mean it helpfully, you could unintentionally feed the problem by making her feel nervous and self-conscious.
- Let her know that you understand and sympathise with the problem. When she finishes a taxing sentence, she’ll be glad to hear that “talking can be tough sometimes,” or that her hard work is making you proud. If you pretend the stuttering doesn’t exist, your child might assume it’s something that can’t be talked about.
- Encourage your child to tell you stories that you know he’s comfortable telling.
- Spend time singing simple songs and reading nursery rhymes with your child. These will probably come to him more easily than unstructured speech.
My husband stutters, but he now works for a very good organisation in a position where he has to talk a lot in public. So, don’t lose heart.