Here is some advice :
Your child will hesitate more if he feels you are not listening to him. Be a good listener:- get down to his level
- establish eye contact
- let him finish his sentences and avoid supplying the words he’s missing
- if you are busy or rushed, explain this to him
- listen to what he says not how he says it
- avoid saying things such as “Take your time”, “Think about what you want to say before speaking”
- Your child needs a good model. When talking to him, use complete and simple sentences at a slower pace. Take pauses in your speech.
- Your child does not hesitate constantly; he has his ups and downs. When your child is in a “good” phase, choose activitiesthat are more language based (ex: telling a story, playing a board game). If your child is in a more difficult phase, then choose activities requiring less language (ex: arts and crafts, puzzles, etc.).
- If your child is younger than 5, he is still learning to master language. It is expected that he will make mistakes. Avoid having him repeat if you have understood his message in the first place. Simply repeat his message in the correct form.
Parent: That’s right! The red truck fell in the water.
- Your child hesitates more when he is tired, angry or upset.His home life should have reasonable and consistent expectations and an established routine which help him feel secure and content.
- If you have more than one child, turn-taking in conversation may be difficult. Establish “talking” rules which should be respected by all members of the family.
- If your child appears to be concerned by his speech, you should reassure him by telling him that:- we all have hesitations in our speech- there are times when he speaks well All persons in contact with your child for any extended period of time (grandparents, caregivers, educators …) should be made aware of these suggestions and follow them.
Department of Speech and Language Pathology
The Montreal Children’s Hospital
McGill University Health Center