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Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
Lots of 7 year olds make mistakes on verb tenses, especially for less common verbs. What you do is perfect. She'll get it eventually.
The only time I 'correct' is when my child gets a word 'wrong' (e.g., using vampire for umpire) and it causes confusion.
For speech sounds that I know a child can't make I leave it. For speech sounds that they can make, but the incorrect pronunciation has become a habit, or it's just an error in the initial processing of the word, I will correct.
For a long time, our second DD could not say the L sound. Now she can, but on a few words that she uses a lot, she still replaces L with W out of habit. I've seen my niece and one of my cousin do the same thing. Many of their pronunciation errors lasted longer than they should have out of habit.
Also, on a word with a lot of syllables things sometimes get mixed up the first few time the child tries the word out. With older kids I will break the word down and help them learn to say it. Our girls are 5 and 6 and we've been doing this for a long time now. This assumes that the child can learn to say the word correctly in a couple of tries.
Out of habit, he substitutes the "w" sound for "f". Since I know he is physically able to do it, when he says "Whoa" for "four," I say "Try saying it like this: four." Then he repeats "foe" and I say "You did it!" Nevermind he has no "r" on the end yet. That will come in time.
The only reason I began addressing some of his pronunciation now is because most people outside the family cannot understand him, and it frustrates him. For the things that are habits, I think the sooner I help him re-learn, the better. But we keep it positive, fun and casual, which I think is key.
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