Episode 30: My Opinion about What not to Focus on When growing Your Child’s Language

Today’s topic is one topic that I have been keen on exploring; some of the things that will definitely not grow your late-talker’s language. 

There are many things that parents are doing unknowingly that will not help their child’s language. 

Below is a list of those things.

What Not to focus on When Growing Your Child’s Language

1. Teaching the alphabet

Teaching your 2 year old, 3 year old or even your 4 year old child that is not talking, the alphabet will not grow their language! Any parent out there who is struggling to have their child call them “mama” and “baba” will attest to this.

There are children who can recite the entire alphabet, even know the letter sound conversions but will not call “mama” or “baba” or respond to their names. 

All these basic concepts that are “academic” like counting will NOT grow your child’s language. 

I have encountered parents who are so proud that their child can count up to 50 or 100 but still this child cannot call them “mama” or “baba”.

I also encounter at  my speech therapy clinic children reciting the alphabet, counting to 10, children that know their colours. And they know them in Spanish or Russian!

Why does your child speak Russian or Spanish and they have never left the country?

Does that mean that  perhaps they are too over exposed to screens? If that’s the case, I  talk about Critical Brain Development period and the detrimental effect of screens on a young child’s growing mind and even adults as they are many adults who are addicted to screens.

That should be a worrying concern for you as a parent. If  your child is speaking in a language that you have not immersed them in or if they are sounding like a “cartoon” this child is definitely watching a lot of “You tube” meaning that they are overexposed to screens.

If your child is displaying all these skills or concept knowledge but they cannot;

  • Respond to their name
  • Follow basic concepts

Then really you are focusing on the wrong things.

2. Enrolling your late-talker to school early

Please read more on the danger of enrolling your child to school early.

Enrolling your late-talker to school does not really offer immediate results on growing their language. This is because they will go to school and they probably being anti-social will not interact with other children despite that being your main reason for why you took them to school early; you felt like they were not getting engaged with at home.

You thought taking them to school early will offer them more exposure to other kids but they go to school and if they have no interest in interacting with other kids, they will be left there with the one toy they have chosen and they will not get those language models that you thought taking them to school early will offer them. 

This as you can see will just end up being counter-intuitive.

Why your 2 year old has a speech and language delay

Final word

If your child is late in talking, the best advice I can give you is;

  1. Have them evaluated by a speech therapist. We can map out what is they have difficulty with, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are and try and fill the gaps there.
  2. You as a parent or caregiver commit to changing your home environment. My Late-Talker’s Bootcamp Course can give tips on how you can do that. You can access FREE samples modules of the course and decide whether that is useful information for you.

Please check out our other resources.

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Hi, I'm your teacher

Lorna Muthamia-Ochido

I run a family-centred speech-language therapy clinic, the largest in East and Central Africa. I’ve helped 15,000+ children optimise their communication outcomes (in other words, I make children smarter ☺).

Get your child talking in no time.

Access Module 1 of the Late- Talker’s Bootcamp course and get started with growing your own child’s language skills completely FREE!


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