Supporting communication

Below is a list of hints and tips to help your child with reading.

You can find lots of tools, tips and advice to help you get your little one talking through the Welsh Government Talk with me

Being face to face

By being at the same level as your child will encourage eye contact and it is easy for them to see your face. 

This will help you to share a moment together, as you will be focusing on the same thing. By looking at each other this will encourage developing conversations and listening to each other developing skills. This will also help children learn about facial expressions and emotions.

To do this you should both be on the same level, and you should be ready to move when your child does also. You should be sat where it is easy for your child to see your face.

Watch and wait

By watching and waiting for your child they could express various sounds and actions. This can include looking at you, making a noise, show you something, point, do an action and say words.

This will give your child a chance to take a turn, which will increase their confidence. This will help your child learn how to start a conversation as they grow older. This will also encourage development of natural and balanced exchanges between you and your child. Also, the interactions will be at the child’s pace, and allow them time to think and experiment with talking. The interactions will also give your child a chance to understand and respond to your words and actions. 

By watching and waiting your child, this will indicate what they are interested in and they are more likely to respond quickly. You can help your child know it is their turn, by looking at them and interested in the exchange.

Follow your child’s interests

It is very important to focus on your child’s interests and actions.

By doing this, your child will have an increase in attention and focus. This will result in your child having more fun doing what they enjoy. Your child will also spend more time on the activity, and this will increase your child’s confidence. This task will also help develop sequences of play, which could help to reduce frustration.

When you know what your child is interested in, the parent can join in and play in their child’s way. Parents can also copy their facial expressions, actions, sounds and words. It is important to wait after your turn. 

Say it as your child would if they could

You should interpret all of your child’s attempts to communicate and give them the words they could have used. This can also include words that your child says which are unclear.

This will help your child know their message has been heard, which will motivate your child to keep trying to tell you things. Your child will then learn to understand turn-taking, once your child knows you are interested in them, they will develop confidence. 

You should use your child’s actions, facial expressions and sounds to work out what they are trying to tell you. It is important to say relevant words, as they would say it if they could.

Adding on words 

You could add on extra words to create a longer sentence, this will develop language patterns and communication skills.

By adding on extra words, this will provide your child with opportunities to learn new words, and to learn about sentences. Also, your child will learn how to talk to different friends and family and will help your child prepare for nursery/school. 

When adding a variety of words to what your child has said such as descriptions, locations, feelings, and actions. 

Asking fewer questions

It is important to try and use more comments that are questions. 

This will provide more opportunities for your child to hear words and sentences that will help them to talk. This will also reduce the pressure to talk and create conversations and turn the atmosphere into a relaxed and fun environment. 

An alternative to asking questions is trying to make a comment instead. It will also be helpful to ask more direct and specific questions, which can be helpful to develop talking and imagination.