accept your child's speech instead of correcting it

Your child will make mistakes as she talks more. When she does, don't correct her. That might hurt her feelings, and make her afraid to talk. Instead, do these three things:

  1. First, listen and try to figure out what your child means.
  2. Then, answer her.
  3. Finally, if you can, restate her words correctly so that she hears her idea said the "right way."

In these examples, the adult follows those three steps:

CHILD

ADULT

Example #1

Child cries and says,
“He goed upstairs with my ball!”

Child says,
“Uh-huh!”

Parent listens and says,
“You are sad. You want your ball.”

Parent says,
“He went upstairs. Let’s go get it!”

Example #2

Child asks teacher,
“Who brang snack?”

Child says,
“Yum!”

Teacher listens and says,
“Gina did. Do you like it?”

Teacher says,
“Gina brought this yummy snack!”