How to help child improve verbal expression? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-13-2010, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd gets this from me (and my mom) - we all have trouble thinking of what to say, forming our ideas into words. I took me forever to name the this thread!

btw - i am asking in this forum because I want an unschool-friendly answer

I'm wondering if there are any games, or other certain activities that would help my dd who just turned 4, to collect her thoughts and put them better into words. She was a very late talker and I still notice she is behind her peers in this regard. She is very bright and has many talents, but gets frustrated sometimes when talking (and i know the feeling!) She tends to start a thought and then trail off........."....ummmm.....ummmmmm....." and I wait patiently, or just say "that's ok, take your time" if anything. But often times she will just shrug and say "I forgot" or "i don't know what to say"

Any thoughts? My aim is not to push her in her slow-er development, but give her some fun tools and tricks that may make communication easier for her.

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#2 of 10 Old 03-13-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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My first thought was to ask if you are all introverts? I am reading "The Introvert Advantage" right now and it says that introverts are prone to this type of thing due to the way their brains work - longer pathway for language/thoughts in the brain than those who are more extroverted. I often have trouble figuring out what to say in conversations.

Does this happen to your DD with you one-on-one, or does it seem like it's more likely when she is nervous or around larger groups of people? That's when it hits me.

My own DD has always been verbally precocious, but if she is frustrated about anything, she can't think straight and has trouble finding words to express herself.

I will try to think of some games that might help. The only thing I can think of right now is maybe trying a theater class.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#3 of 10 Old 03-13-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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We like to write stories over here. Sometimes DD will dictate stories to me and I will type them for her.

At night, she always wants me to tell cat stories. So every night I end up making up cat stories. Most of them are not very good. But DD doesn't mind. If I ask her to start the story, she gets upset and says she can't think of anything at all, but if I start out the story, she almost immediately starts adding to it. This has evolved since we started a couple of months ago. I used to just tell the stories while she listened. Now she actively participates.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#4 of 10 Old 03-13-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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We do the following more as a "family gathering exercise" at the dinner table, but I think it might be a great way to develop the skills of verbal expression, since I often notice gains in my own kids' verbal ability through it.

Each night at dinner we do "the questions." They evolve over the years, but the ones that have been the longest-lasting and favorites are Best Thing / Worst Thing. These seem to work well even from a young age. Each person around the table recounts the Best Thing that happened during their day and the Worst Thing that happened. We're free to tell stories or inject humour or just to label the things we're referring to. But the questions are open-ended with copious daily modeling from the parents, and there's the chance for guidance in story-telling and word choices. ("You'll need to explain to daddy where we were when that happened so he understands. Do you remember the name of the place?")

This nightly ritual is helpful to our family in so many ways, but verbal expression is certainly one of them.

Miranda

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#5 of 10 Old 03-14-2010, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, good ideas!

starflower - i am definitely an introvert. my mom would say she is but i have always perceived her as quite social. my daughter......extroverted. but things like theater class might make her shy. and she often searches for words when it's just the 2 of us at home. but i will give it more thought, thanks.

Keep the ideas coming

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#6 of 10 Old 03-14-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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My kids love to play the game where you take turns telling part of a story. For the story to make any kind of sense, you have to both listen carefully to the person before you and to think about where you want the story to go. It usually ends in riotous laughter.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-24-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Maybe she is a Visual-Spatial learner. Here is a site about it.
http://www.visualspatial.org/

Here's an article about improving auditory processing (I haven't read it) for V-S learners plus a bunch of other articles pertaining to V-S issues.
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Vis...r/articles.htm

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#8 of 10 Old 02-25-2012, 04:33 AM
 
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I was an introvert, very shy as a child.  I am not any longer, but still have a terrible time expressing myself as an adult.  Especially if emotion is involved.  i do much better writing.  As for my daughter, she is all but an introvert and yet she has trouble spitting out what she has to say and with getting to the point.  She also seems to have trouble getting out what she has to say in order to get it onto paper.  She has been having trouble completing written work and procrastinates with this type of work.

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#9 of 10 Old 02-25-2012, 06:18 AM
 
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I have this problem too, as do some of my kids.  Something that has helped somewhat is teaching them/me some stock phrases, so it's not always necessary to come up with a response in the moment.  Someone gives you a gift "Thank you!  I love it!"  You run into a friend "Hi, how are you?" Something happens that leads to someone being hurt "Are you all right?"  

 

Typing this out, it all seems ridiculous and obvious, but we all have stuff we pick up naturally, and other stuff that is less obvious to us. I have found it helpful to know When X happens, say Y.  Then once we're past the initial moment, it's easier for me to continue on.  My tongue-tied children seem to benefit similarly.

 

If you wanted to help a 4 year old with this, you could play act various common scenes with her, or with her toys, so she would have a script of sorts in her head of what people might say in various situations.  

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#10 of 10 Old 02-25-2012, 10:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea stahl13 View Post

As for my daughter, she is all but an introvert and yet she has trouble spitting out what she has to say and with getting to the point.  She also seems to have trouble getting out what she has to say in order to get it onto paper.  She has been having trouble completing written work and procrastinates with this type of work.


You don't mention how old your daughter is, where her skills are at, whether she's currently motivated to improve her ability to articulate her ideas to others, or what sort of written work she needs to complete. But for what it's worth she may be more of a right-brained person who doesn't tend to think in clear language-oriented sequences. Rather she may think more holistically about ideas. One tool that can be helpful for people like this is idea-webbing, otherwise known as mind- or concept-mapping. Basically you create a page of inter-related ideas that you want to present, each in its own separate circle, linked by lines to related ideas. It's sort of a brain-storming and organizing step that comes before writing.

 

Bubbl.us is a service that lets you do this easily on-line.

Inspiration and Kidspiration are software packages for doing it on your own computer.

It's also easy to do this on paper, and it's a popular approach that many lateral thinkers use, as demonstrated in this blog and image.

 

Miranda

 

 


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