Dropped plates, thrown foods, defiant screams…. Mealtimes with toddlers can be difficult at the best of times! But having to deal with a toddler who is also a picky eater can make mealtimes even more stressful. Most people don’t know that speech-language pathologists (SLP) are the professionals to turn to when picky eating is a problem. Below are a few tips from our SLPs to help you turn your picky eater into an eating angel:
- Re-offer foods that have been previously refused (research shows that foods need to be offered up to 20 times!)
- Make it fun! Squish, smell, kiss and lick new foods.
- Use fun bowls, plates, cutlery, etc.
- Allow your child to spit out new foods
- Try some food play activities (away from mealtimes)
“Is it too confusing to learn two language simultaneously?”
“Will learning two languages cause our child’s speech or language skills to be delayed?”
“How should we teach our child two languages?”
These questions are typical concerns of parents considering to use more than one language at home. The first and most important suggestion for parents is to ensure you are speaking a language that you are comfortable and proficient in when communicating with your child. For example, if you are fluent in Spanish, then speak Spanish to your child. There is no evidence or research to suggest that learning two languages causes language delays. In fact, many children who are exposed to more than one language outperform their monolingual peers on both verbal and non-verbal tests of intelligence.
One method for teaching multiple languages at home is the “One Parent One Language” approach, where each parent speaks a specific language to his/her child all the time. For example, mom speaks English while dad speaks Spanish.
Another approach involves using a different language during different routines. For example, English during dinnertime and Spanish during bath time.
Just remember that the basic concept is to keep the languages separate in order to minimize confusion. Both approaches are equally as effective; choosing simply depends on which one best suits your family.
For more information, please visit: http://www.speechtherapycentres.com/
As our children get ready to go back to school or daycare, it is a great time to freshen up on our “teaching” skills as parents. Below are a few helpful tips on how you can make early literacy a priority (and more interesting!) for your little ones.
2-3 Year Olds:
- Read to your child everyday, even if it is only for a few minutes
- Encourage your child to bring you his/her favourite books so you can read them together
- Talk with your child throughout the day about what is happening
- Point to pictures and name them out loud
- Be patient when your child wants to read the same book many times
- Encourage your child to play with books (flip them from front to back, turn pages)
4-5 Year Olds:
- Help your child hear words that rhyme (like cat and hat)
- Let your child choose the book s/he wants
- Help your child hear and say the first sound of a word (ball, bear)
- Point out signs and labels that have letters
- Ask “what?”, “where?”, and “how?” questions when reading
- Introduce new words
- Make connections from stories to things that happen in real life
For more information about The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada, please visit: http://www.speechtherapycentres.com/