I spend a good portion of my time with both of my boys discussing the importance of speaking appropriately. I correct my three year old on a daily basis, but I do so in a learning and encouraging way. I wouldn’t dare degrade either one of my boys.
Specifically with Davey, I’ve discussed the use of double negatives and subject/verb agreement. I encounter a lot of parents and non-parents who question the fact that I’m already attempting to teach this to my boys at such a young age. I joke around about it and will shrug it off with the usual answer, “I have an English degree”, but really it’s more than that. It’s important to speak properly.
Currently, Davey is having an issue with stuttering. It’s not really an issue, but at times when he gets excited, it takes him quite a while to get things out. I tell him to take a deep breath, slow down, and let his words flow. In most cases, that works.
The reason I’m writing this blog is because for a while I worried about Davey and his speech. I worried that he wouldn’t speak at all for a while, or that his speech would be incomprehensible. I read books on helping your child speak correctly, but for the most part it was just investment of my time with him.
I read to him a lot, always have. I speak to him, not at him, and I’ve never used baby talk with him. Now that he’s gotten older, I engage him in conversations about his day. I ask him what he’s doing. Yesterday, I specifically told him to NOT dump all of his blocks out of the bin, but to instead get them out one at a time. While I was upstairs, I heard the sound of hundreds of blocks hitting the hardwood floor and I knew he’d dumped them all out. I wasn’t upset, but I did want a reason for this. This was our conversation:
Me: Davey, didn’t I tell you to not dump out all of your blocks?
Davey: Yes, you did, Mommy.
Me: So, why did you dump them all out?
Davey: Because the blocks on the bottom were lonely. They missed their friends on top.
It’s a creative answer, but also a very well spoken answer. He didn’t stutter and he used the correct grammar.
I remind myself daily to make sure that I’m spending the same amount of time with Henry. Being a 2nd time mom with him, means I don’t stress the small stuff quite so much. He’s 11 months old. He’s making all of the appropriate sounds, saying “mama”, “dada”, “no”, “go”, and “bye”. He’s doing well.
For those of you; however, who may worry about your child’s speech, Parents Magazine, offers up an insightful article. The link is below.