Practicing speech and language at home is just as important as practicing speech and language in therapy sessions. Practicing at home provides an opportunity for more generalization of skills across settings. When we talk about skills generalizing, what we mean is that the skills your child practices in a structured therapy session are used not only in that session, but also at school and at home. So exactly how do you motivate your kiddo to increase that excitement to practice? The following are five ways to do just that:
- Setting goals for speech and language practice at home can look a few different ways. To keep it as motivating as possible you can give your kiddo reward options for when they reach their goal. If your child wants to, they can even help you set their own goal whether it is five minutes of practice or practice while in the bath! Having a reward to work towards can be highly motivating.
MOTIVATING TOY OR GAME
- Playing a game always adds fun into speech practice. When you let your child pick their favorite game that motivation to play and cooperate increases. You can then incorporate speech practice while you play whichever toy or game your kiddo picks. For example, if you are working on a sound, have your child say their practice word five times before they take a turn.
- When your child accomplishes their practice goals or is excelling during their speech and language practice celebrate their success. Celebrations can come in so many ways. Some kids like high fives, while others like a big hug and an audible cheer. Working for those moments of celebration are a great way to motivate your kiddo.
- If you focus on the negative things or the things your child is unable to do, your child’s motivation to practice will be low. Instead, focus on staying positive and encouraging your kiddo when they are working hard during speech practice will be more motivating.
WORK ON SOLVING PROBLEMS
- Problem solving is a higher-level cognitive skill that fosters your child’s overall independence and self-confidence. While giving your child the opportunity to solve problems during speech and language practice may not seem like a clear motivator, you are giving your child opportunities to be intrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivation can be the success your child feels when they solve that problem. Helping your child be intrinsically motivated is a great skill to provide them.
With warmth and gratitude,
The Fox Team