How to Praise a child who is learning to speak?
Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Ms. Nayantara Nambiar, Speech Language Pathologist, Unified Brain Health Care
Children love praise and encouragement, and this makes them want to keep up their work. So, how you praise your child when they are learning to speak is important. Saying ‘Super’ and giving high-fives is good, but it is not specific enough. Kids need to know what they did right so that they can improve on it.
Here are some ideas on how to be specific with your praise.
For a child working on learning new words:
If your child says the correct word, you can respond by saying “Good Job!!! You said water”. This way your child understands that the praise is for saying the word ‘water’.
For a child working on saying sounds correctly:
If your child says the correct sound, you can respond by saying “WOW! You said the ‘k’ sound”. Again, with this specific praise, your child knows that it is for saying the correct sound.
What about when your child gets it wrong?
You can continue the specific praise. If your child says the wrong sound, ‘t’ sound instead of ‘k’ sound, you can say “Good Try! But you need to push your tongue back to make the ‘k’ sound”
Changing the way we praise can be a challenge in the beginning but this will support your child’s understanding of their own behaviour and help them learn better.
Remember to BE SPECIFIC.
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