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Top tips on how to talk so your child will listen!

As we at I CAN are gearing up for Chatterbox Challenge week, 10-16th February, our fantastic partner groups will be sharing blogs and activities with us throughout the week. Our first one is from Talking Tots, who during Chatterbox Challenge Week will be running  their own unique ‘Colour Chaos’ sessions to support the Chatterbox theme of Sounds like Fun with Humf.

As both mums and paediatric speech and language therapists, we share I CAN’s vision of a world where all children possess the communication skills they need to fulfil their potential.

Children get a huge head start in life if they can communicate clearly and confidently. Learning, making friends and self-expression is particularly aided with confident communication skills.

Children like to have fun and learn best through play, that’s why we created Talking Tots. You can help your child’s communication development simply through the way you speak to him or her by following the top tips below.

•  Open your sentence with your child’s name, “Kyle, can you please…”

•  Get down to your child’s level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact.

•  Use short sentences with simple relevant words. Keep grammatically correct.

•  Keep it brief. Put your main point/request in your opening sentence.

•  If you’ve asked your child to do something … get them to repeat the instruction back to you.

•  Try to keep your language positive. So instead of saying “don’t run” say “walk please”.

•  Use sequence connectors such as ‘when’ and ‘then’, for example “When you have put the toys away, then     we can go to the park.”

•  Using “When” implies that you expect compliance rather than “if,” which suggests a choice.

• Instead of shouting from another room, go into the room and first gain your child’s attention by addressing them directly.

• Expect your child to be polite. Children shouldn’t feel manners are optional. Even a young child can learn to use “please” and “thank you.”

• If you are asking your child to do something, don’t ask a leading question. Rather than asking “Will you please put your shoes on?” say, “Put your shoes on please.”

• If you end up in a verbal battle … the louder your child gets, the softer you should respond.

• Give advance warnings …”We’re going soon … so start to tidy up/say goodbye”

Talking Tots is excited to be supporting I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge <<http://www.chatterboxchallenge.org.uk/>> for the fourth year running.

During Chatterbox Challenge Week (10th – 16th February 2014), Talking Tots will run their own unique ‘Colour Chaos’ sessions to support the Chatterbox theme of Sounds like Fun with Humf.

Children will be sponsored to join in different fun-filled activities including: colour picture games, action rhymes and songs. We hope that the sessions will show parents how easy it is to make children’s learning exciting and fun as well as raise money for I CAN’s fantastic work.

A blog from Tracey Park and Lisa Houghton

More information can be found on the Talking Point website: www.talkingtots.info

Follow Talking Tots on Twitter at @LisaTalkingTots / @TJPTalkingTots or like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/TalkingTotsUK?fref=ts