I am certain that you and your child have delightful conversations several times a day, but… how does your child handle conversations with other children, relatives, other adults, or teachers? It never ceases to amaze me how many parents will answer for their children when I ask their child a direct question. I see this more and more with parents of Kindergartners. I ask the question to the child and mom or dad will answer. Hmmm. It is interesting that parents feel that the answer will be more accurate if an adult responds, however, when your child enters the Kindergarten classroom, who will be answering for him/her then? No one. Now is the time to check for yourself who is doing the answering when others are talking to or asking your child a question. Children need to learn to speak for themselves and to have an opinion. Teachers will be expecting your child to speak on his/her own behalf once he/she walks through the doors of school. If you are one of those parents, who jumps at the chance to answer for your child, the time to change that behavior is now. Role play situations with your child on how he/she will react when others speak to him/her. Teach your child how to answer questions and how to carry on a conversation. This skill does not come automatically and requires lots and lots of practice.
Re-posted from August 2009