As a mom, I need to practice patience everyday. I am learning to be patient with my daughter as she learns things at her own pace. Toddlers love to do things on their own, but rarely do things at a preferable pace. It takes time for her to put her coat on all by herself, to clean up, and to communicate exactly what she needs in a moment of desperation. Often, I am waiting on her and that can be frustrating. But research suggests that children learn to communicate through pauses and waiting periods. So all that waiting and patience you utilize at home? It’s great for your child’s development!
Today I am going to share how pressing the ‘pause button’ can help your child’s speech development.
Last week, I shared my FREE resource guide for parents to use at home! This technique is #2 on my guide. Download the guide here.
How does a ‘pause’ help your child’s speech?
Pause- It’s simple but awkward at times! By giving your child space to respond to a question, you give them time to understand the question. Pausing in conversation is something you do daily without thinking about it. We pause to think of a response to a question or wait for someone to finish speaking before we jump in. For a young child who is building vocabulary, she needs time to comprehend each word before she creates an appropriate response. When you pause you give your child a chance to understand the questions and respond accurately.
Pausing after a sentence or question in conversation can help a child understand conversational turn taking. As adults we communicate with people in a back and forth manner. You say something, your friend responds, you say something else, so on and so forth. Turn taking is a social skill children learn through watching and hearing adult conversations. When you stop talking after a sentence or question it indicates to the person with whom you are speaking that it’s her turn to talk.
Children with delays and/or disabilities may need extra time to communicate. It is so important that a child has the opportunity to communicate. A pause in conversation will allow a child with special needs to formulate and attempt a verbal response. As a busy parent, you may complete a thought or respond to the question for them out of habit. This deprives them of the chance to try to understand the question as well as the opportunity to verbally respond. When you pause for a few seconds, you provide the opportunity for your child to speak for herself.