Here are some tips that my husband and I learned over the years of raising our daughter that I hope will help you as a parent of someone who happens to stutter:
I’ve separated them out into Do’s and Don’ts!
- Love and support your child all ways and always, NO MATTER WHAT
- Be open and COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT THEIR STUTTER regularly, being sure they feel comfortable sharing with you their feelings and concern
- Be patient and GIVE YOUR CHILD TIME TO SPEAK with your UTMOST ATTENTION
- MAKE DIRECT EYE CONTACT with your child when they are speaking
- HELP YOUR CHILD TO SELF ADVOCATE as much as possible. Encourage them to discuss their stutter with their teachers, employers, friends, family, neighbours, people on the phone and in public. I stutter. It is how I talk.
- Offer advice like:
- Hurry up, I haven’t got all day!
- Calm down!
- Spit it out!
- Slow down!
- STOP and take a breath!
- It’s all in your head, it’s not real.
- Finish your child’s sentences, even if you know what they are trying to say. WAIT and let them finish the sentence themselves.
- Order for them in restaurants or fast food places. Ideally, they will learn to order for themselves, when given the opportunity
- Make phone calls for them. Again, they will learn to make those calls themselves more quickly when given the opportunity
- Make stuttering the ‘ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM’ at your house or with your extended family and friends. Be open about it.
- Blame yourselves.
Love and support your child all ways and always, NO MATTER WHAT! I know you already do! You are their parent and you are here!
Connect with Eeva on the CSA Parent's Facebook Group.