Quit Asking Questions – What?

Child with Mom Practicing Speech Therapy Every week my son and I have a speech therapist come to my house and train me on how to help him learn how to speak. My son is almost 2 years old and is experiencing a speech delay. Of my 4 kids, 3 of them have experienced speech therapy in some form or another, but this is the first time I have experienced it with a toddler. When you take a toddler to speech therapy you are really taking yourself to speech therapy. My wonderful speech therapist and I visit about what we can do to help encourage my son to speak, and then we play with him, practicing some of the concepts that we spoke about.

One bit of her advice impacted me enough to write about it – “Quit Asking Questions.” I ask many questions, “Do you want to…. run? walk? eat? sleep? push the car? blow a bubble? jump? play blocks?” or “What…. color is it? What book do you want to read?” … the list is endless. I ask these questions and get nothing back in return. My speech therapist shared with me that it adds stress to the situation for my toddler because he is constantly trying to form an answer. He is essentially in a test all day long, I know that I would get tired of that also. From my perspective I get frustrated that I am not getting a response. I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until I quit asking the questions. All of a sudden, I didn’t expect a response, and any response I received was fun. Now, when I play with him I say “The hammer goes BAM, BAM, BAM!” and if I am lucky he responds “BAM, BAM, BAM!”. Then I cheer and we are both happy. I cannot explain in words how much happier I am in my interaction with him, let alone how much happier he is.

My speech therapist and I were laughing about how it may work better with my middle schooler, and you know what I am going to try it. Instead of what I normally say….”How was school?” and he answers “OK”. End of conversation.

tiffA Mom Knows Contributor

About Tiff

Passions in my life include: Family, Vacations, Reading, God, Financial Planning, and Technology. I stay at home with my 4 lovely children who keep me running from one end of town to the other.

4 Responses to Quit Asking Questions – What?

  1. KATHRYN says:

    “When you take a toddler to speech therapy you are really taking yourself to speech therapy.” I just love this quote! If it is ok with you I’m going to print your post to share with parents who need help to get to the place you are right now. Thank You for describing a Speech Therapist’s work with toddlers so wonderfully well!

    Kathryn from Kids-Games-for-Speech-Therapy.com

  2. Tiff says:

    Thanks Kathryn for the positive response to my article. Of course you can print my post to share with your parents. I would really appreciate it if you would also share it on your website. My speech therapist has made such a difference in my relationship with my toddler, it really is a great work that you do!

  3. Jessica Gardner says:

    I was referred by my speech therapist to your blog and this post in particular. I just started Speech therapy for my 17 month old who is delayed. I life in Fort Collins. she was just talking to me about this very concept today. and then told me about this post. it’s encouraging to hear the enjoyment you have had once you switched your mentality, and I really hope that I too can focus on just playing than asking him so many questions. I look forward to “staying in touch”. I too have a blog. http://www.jessandrichard.blogspot.com (gardnerClan). Thanks for this imput

  4. Tiff says:

    Thanks Jessica, my son is almost 26 months and I cannot believe how well he is doing. We are starting to communicate to one another much better and even though he is finally answering a bit I am still not asking him tons of questions. Sure, now that he can respond with some simple answers I will at times ask an easy question, but I try to keep them to a minimum. We have really come a long way in a short time, and I do attribute that progress to the attention I have taken to the coaching I have received through my speech therapist. Do not let me mislead you, he is still behind, but progress is progress! Good Luck on your journey and feel free to post a comment or question anytime.