Build talking together into all family routines: out walking, at mealtimes, when watching television, at bath times and bed times, for example. Make conversation part of the pattern of family life. This will build up your child's confidence in talking because he is learning that his talking is valued even when he is stammering.
Speaking and listening in the family
Children who stammer can be very sensitive to the speaking and attitudes of other family members. They may feel harassed by a fast pace of talking by sisters and brothers particularly if they find it hard to keep up, or are being continually interrupted, as they struggle to have their say. It is good for all the children and adults in the family, as well as the child who stammers, to take their turns in speaking and to allow others to have their say without interrupting. These skills are important for learning.
In any family, children may make upsetting comments about another child in the family behind the parents' back and it is important to find out if this is going on. The secretive undermining of one child by other children in the family is quite common. Parents need to be aware of this and act to prevent that and any thoughtless comments by children or adults about stammering.
He is bound to watch this on his own sometimes as parents are busy people, but do make sure that the programmes are appropriate for his age and whenever you can sit down and watch the programme with him. Encourage him to make comments about the characters and the story and use the opportunity to build up his language by sharing ideas with him.
Use the BSA-Leaflets so that all key adults and children in your child's family use simple strategies to support your child's speech.
All family and friends who have contact with your child who stammers should be asked to follow the simple tips when speaking to him. Sometimes older people may take some convincing that they should not interrupt or finish off words when a child is stammering. When this happens pass on the BSA-Leaflets as they provide straightforward information from outside the family that is well presented and up-to-date.
Click on the following links to open a PDF, use the back button on your browser to return to this resource. To save the handout to your computer, right click and choose 'Save as'.
Text for this page: How the family can help
Text for this whole section: How to help your child who stammers?