Posts By: Guest Blogger

Three tips to increase your child’s communication skills + Contest!

Communicating is an important part of a child development. Though all children progress at their own pace, if you are looking for ways to help your child with his/her communication skills and listening skills at home, here are three tips which you may find helpful.

1) Get Face-to-Face with your Child
This allows your child to pay closer attention to your face and what you are doing with your lips, tongue, etc., since body language is a large part of communicating. It also lets YOU pay attention to what your child is interested in and makes it easier for you to identify your child’s attempts at non-verbal communication. Communication does not need to be in the form of words or sentences. It can be as simple as a look, a gesture, sounds or words.

2) Follow Your Child’s Lead
We all have our OWN favourite toys, however, it is important to follow what toys and activities your CHILD is interested in. When your child is interested, their motivation to learn and communicate is enhanced. Respond enthusiastically to your child’s interests and join them in this activity. This interaction allows for many communication opportunities, and most importantly, your child will love this special time with mom or dad!

3) Interpret Your Child’s Message
Your child may not use words, but you can still help their communication along by interpreting what they are “saying” to you. Your child may be pointing or nodding, pulling you towards an item, or making sounds. These are all great preverbal ways of communicating but to help those words along, interpret your child’s message by saying a word or phrase that matches your child’s gesture or sound. In other words, say what your child would say if he/she could. For example your child points to the bubble you just blew, you can say, “bubble, big bubble.”

These three tips are a great start to helping your child on his/her way to becoming an effective communicator. Speech therapy sessions with our In-Home Speech Therapists incorporate these tips for good communication skills and many more. For more detailed speech pathology tips or activities for late talkers or early language development in children, please contact us at info@speechkids.ca or 1 844 804 5437.

About the Author:

Erin Avramidis is a Registered Speech Therapist and Founder of Speech Kids Canada, an In-Home Speech therapy company supporting children in Southern Ontario and the GTA. For weekly speech therapy tips and activities follow Speech Kids @speechkidsCA on twitter and visit www.speechkids.ca

 

[CONTEST ALERT]

Would you like to win a free Speech Assessment? In the comments below, tell us why you think the assessment would be useful and you could win an assessment with Erin!

If you’re in Barrie, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Halton Hills, all of Halton, Cambridge, Kitchener/Waterloo, Hamilton/Niagara, face to face for an assessment.  Otherwise, for clients outside of those areas a video call!

Contest is open from November 20, 2014 at 1pm EST to November 26, 2014 at 11:59pm EST

Fun with GIFS!

Every morning, bright and early, I drive my daughter to the train, coffee in hand, sometimes in my pajamas, and almost always in my slippers.  After dropping her off at the train station today in a rush to get to the rest of my morning routine before work, I tripped up our porch steps, my coffee FLYING out of my cup, one slipper ending up a few feet away and scraping my knees a bit. After a quick look around (to check for witnesses), and ensuring that I didn’t have whiplash, I texted my daughter to let her know what happened and to let her know that I probably wouldn’t be wearing slippers tomorrow!  She sent me this, along with an “Oh no!”….

Whenever she’s asking for a favour, it’s not uncommon for her to send me a funny GIF like this one…

She’s a smart cookie because who can resist funny puns, “have a good day” images, or AN ADORABLE WINKING KOALA?

I love my daughter’s sense of humour and hope she never stops sending me these silly messages. Never underestimate the power of  funny gifs to turn your day around!

What are some of the little things that your kids do that make you laugh?

 

About the Author:

Karen Pearson is one of the friendly voices you’ll hear on the other end of the phone when calling Customer Service at Mabel’s Labels. She enjoys writing about her family, which includes a husband, 3 kids and a rescue dog from Greece.

Parental Vs Halloween Lessons

By Lisa Van Meeteren

Halloween and I have a somewhat rocky relationship. While there are things I like about it (Halloween candy, bit of a love/hate there really, coming up with Halloween costume ideas for my kids, and putting up Halloween decorations) there are parts of it that I find downright confusing.  You see I’m confused because while Halloween is a holiday for children, some of the messages it sends to kids (especially toddlers) are crazy messed up in my opinion and pretty much negate all the parental lessons I’ve tried to instill. Read on to see if you agree….

Photo via: SheKnows

 

Parental Lesson #1: Candy is bad for you so you shouldn’t eat too much at one time.

Halloween Lesson: Fill up a bag with enough junk food to feed a third world country and then spend the rest of the year begging your parents to eat it.

When my kids were toddlers they thought raisins were candy. That is one “trick” that was blasted by Halloween.  For the entire month following Halloween they are so hyped up on chocolate that I could probably plug them in and run all of our electronics.

 

Parental Lesson #2: Don’t take candy from strangers.

Halloween Lesson: Go out in the dark and knock on as many strangers’ doors as you can.

Do I have to say anything else here? Whatever happened to stranger danger? I tell my kids to stay off of other people’s properties and not to approach strangers. I also teach them that if something looks or feels suspicious it probably is…and on Halloween I’m saying, “Run up to that house with the statue with a knife sticking out of its head and ring that bell, honey!”

 

Parental Lesson #3: Do not watch scary TV shows because it will give you nightmares.

Halloween Lesson: Let’s see as many freaky things as we possibly can and reassure you that it’s okay.

I work hard year round to make sure that the shows my kids watch on television are appropriate and was especially vigilant about this when they were little. I made sure they were exposed to shows and images full of rainbows, love and sunshine so they wouldn’t have nightmares. Then on Halloween night I walk my children past Halloween decorations that consist of severed heads, and skeletons with their eyes popping out, soothing them by saying things like, “Oh, look at the funny guy!” When what I really should be saying is, “Children, if you see a guy with a knife sticking out of his head in real life, you run like Forest Gump on Jolt Cola and don’t look back.”

 

Parental Lesson #4 It’s not nice to play tricks on people.

Halloween Lesson: Yell trick or treat and watch adults play tricks on innocent toddlers!

Kids love to play tricks on people and as a parent is it my job to tell them not to, that it’s simply not nice. So enter Halloween, where adults are constantly playing tricks on kids. There is always one guy on the street who didn’t get to live out his childhood fantasies or who shares a sense of humour with your five year old and can’t wait for Halloween to express himself. Usually this person gets dressed up like a stuffed scary dude staying creepily still until your child nears the door and then jumps out at them. This “trick” nearly put me in therapy when I was six.

 

So that’s it. The ways Halloween contradicts everything I’ve taught my kids so far. But here is another contradiction…I still like it. I still think is a time to get together with the neighbours, let your kids have fun and overindulge, and I guess since it’s a holiday then that part makes perfect sense.

 

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you think Halloween is confusing for toddlers? Do you have any experiences, kid Halloween movies, or healthy Halloween treats to share?

 

About the Author

Lisa Van Meeteren is the mother of two children, ages 5 and 9. She works as a copywriter and has just completed a novel!

 

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