There’s nothing quite like the joy you feel when you hear your child speak their very first word, and there’s so much you can contribute to your child’s speech development. At GetzWell Pediatrics we want to help you navigate the uncertainties of every aspect of your child’s health and growth, including how to nurture your child’s receptive and expressive speech.
Read, Repeat, Reinforce
Particularly with your first child, it’s tempting to send find yourself in a tailspin researching all the newest methods to help your little one become all they can be in life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with this, but we want to provide some simple guiding principles that will help decrease your parental anxiety. With speech development, these three things will go a long way toward helping your child become a confident and clear speaker.
- Regular Reading: chances are you’ve heard this before but the point can’t be overemphasized – reading to your child every day starting from the newborn period has been proven to have a profound impact on speech development. When reading, speak in an expressive, clear and friendly tone, and make sure your child can see your face. Even before your child is able to fully comprehend your words, they will begin to associate the sounds they hear with the way they are formed on your lips, assisting with enunciation as they grow.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: just like learning to master any new skill, repetition is key as your child learns to speak. As you repeat words, your child commits them to memory and begins to appropriately associate them. Make sure new words are repeated and carefully pronounced so your child can fully grasp each and begin incorporating them into their speech.
- Positive Reinforcement: who doesn’t love being praised for a job well done? As your child attempts to repeat words you say and eventually use these on their own, make sure you respond positively, verbally and also with your body language, as this will embolden your child to continue and help minimize fear of failure. [Example: “I heard you say you ‘adore‘ playing with Sally. Let’s find a time to get together with her!” Try to be specific with your praise and laud effort over outcome. “Good job!” tends to be less effective.]
San Francisco Pediatric Care
At GetzWell Pediatrics, we believe in providing total care for your child. We take the time to address all aspects of your child’s development and well-being, spending 3-4 times as long as the national average per appointment. So, if you’re seeking a partner to help you navigate the often-uncertain waters of your child’s developmental journey, look no further than GetzWell Pediatrics. Call us today for an appointment.
Looking for a partner in the healthy development of your child? Your San Francisco holistic pediatricians at GetzWell Pediatrics are here to help. Church St / Union St: (415) 826-1701.