Stunned by Stuttering: Welcome to Toddlerhood
Pediatricians and speech pathologists strongly advise parents not to bring too much attention to their child’s stuttering.
The first time you hear it, it might make you cringe. Your perfectly cute little toddler, who just yesterday was speaking in sentences, is now stuttering! You may wonder what happened, what went wrong, or even if he has been injured somehow. Between the ages of 2 and 5, stuttering can come on with the speed and intensity of a summer thunderstorm and without any warning. Unfortunately it really may be you, the parent, who suffers the most from your child’s stuttering because naturally, it causes you to be a little concerned. Just know that, most of the time, stuttering is a phase, and it’s best to just let your child to work through it – your child will work it out.
Pediatricians and speech pathologists strongly advise parents not to bring too much attention to their child’s stuttering. Toddlers can easily notice their parents’ hesitation and emotions, and they should not feel like they are doing something wrong. This will only make them more nervous and can actually exasperate the stuttering. The other big mistake that parents make is trying to finish the sentence for their toddler rather than letting them muddle their way through it. This will only reinforce the habit and will not help them to build speech confidence. Let them finish the sentence; only help them on a word if they seem to ask for assistance.
Never allow older children to laugh or make jokes about it, and try as much as possible to remain calm and poised.