• accept the child's speech and treat it as if it was completely normal, be a good listener, look interested and listen to what the child says rather than how they say it
  • reduce the number of questions you ask the child.  Turn the questions into statements or wait until the information is volunteered. For example, instead of asking ‘what have you drawn?' make a comment ‘that's a lovely picture'
  • be honest if you have not got time to listen. For example, ‘I'm busy at the moment, but I'd really like to hear what you have to say after lunch,' and ensure that you return to the child
  • do not draw attention to the way the child talks by offering advice like ‘slow down' or ‘start again' or correcting pronunciation or grammar
  • try to use everyday opportunities to encourage fair turn taking, especially with talking and encourage children not to interrupt each other. Reducing competition ensures that each child gets a turn
  • think about the way you talk.  If you talk in a slow relaxed way, it will encourage the child to do the same.  It is also important to use short simple sentences and vocabulary that is appropriate for the age of the child
  • try to take away the need to hurry and keep life as calm as possible.  Avoiding ‘rushing' language such as ‘hurry up' and ‘oh dear, we are late now'  
  • try not to demand speech from the child. For example, ‘tell Daddy what you did today' or ‘say goodbye'
  • encourage situations that appear to lessen stammering and avoid putting pressure on the child to talk in situations that they find difficult
  • try to give your child as much individual attention as possible
  • these are examples of ways to reduce pressure on a child to communicate as this encourages fluency

To access more information about this resource and the service related to it, you can review the related resources below.

Children's Speech and Language Therapy - frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions about children’s speech and language therapy appointments.
Top tips for talking
Read our top tips for talking by our Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service.

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