If you have a stuttering child, there are some things you can do to help them avoid depression and feel better about themselves. Here are 7 of the best ways to help your stuttering child.
1. Talk in a relaxed, slow manner and be sure to pause frequently while talking. When you are having a conversation with your child, wait a few seconds before responding to what he says. By waiting even a brief period of time before you talk, you model the right pace for your child.
2. Show your child that you are listening to what he has to say rather than how he is saying it. Watch out that your facial expressions or body language are not showing impatience when it happens to stutter.
If you show impatience, whether you intend to or not, your child will pick up on it and feel pressured. For example, do not glance at your watch or tap your fingers. And be sure to keep eye contact so he knows you are really listening.
3. Be sure that you are not disabling the flow of what your child is trying to say by making too many comments or asking too many questions. It better to just let her talk freely about anything she wants to. If she gets to choose the topic, chances are she'll talk much more than if she is only answering your questions. The more she can speak without any pressure, the better.
4. Every family member, whether adult or child, is entitled to be treated with respect. One way to show that respect is to give everyone a chance to talk without fear of being cut off before they finish. If everyone who talks is constantly being interrupted or hurried, your stuttering child is getting a negative message that what they have to say is not worth hearing. You can help instill confidence with respect.
5. Your child needs to know that you are on her side. So if she tells you that she is getting teased at school because she stutters, arrange to talk to her teacher. You may also want to help her come up with a few ideas of how she can deal with teasing on her own.
6. Remember to be a listener, not a corrector. Let him speak and avoid finishing what he's trying to say. It does not help him to have you constantly correcting words he is not saying properly, or finishing his sentences. Let a conversation be an opportunity to take turns talking and listening.
7. Beyond anything else, ensure that your child gets the message that she is loved for who she is, and not for how she speaks. At times, she'll feel bad about her problem. Do not dismiss these feelings, but do let her know that no one is problem free. It's just part of life. If you can recall an example from your childhood when you faced a problem, it may help her feel less alone.