The introduction of smart phones has definitely helped us to connect with others a lot easier than we did in the past. However, they do come with drawbacks. Their overuse can interfere with face-to-face, child-parent communication interactions that are essential for language development. It can be hard to keep phones out of sight and often this makes it difficult to set boundaries for children in terms of technology use.
Boost your child’s language skills – 5 tips to increase face-to-face communication
1. Instate daily technology-free periods
Incorporate into your daily routine, times when technological devices such as television, computers, and mobile phones are off limits. When dealing with teenagers, try to come to a mutual agreement that both parties agree upon as fair in order to increase compliance and autonomy. It may also be helpful for parents to abide by the set periods as well to help children come on board and comply with these rules.
2. Set technology-free zones within the house
Designating certain areas of the house as technology free such as the kitchen or dining table can be an excellent way to increase communication and dinner-time interactions as a family.
3. Go on technology-free outings
Day trips to the beach or the zoo can be a great way enjoy the day without technology. Although we do like to take videos and photos at these outings, having an outing undocumented once in a while allows everyone to enjoy the fun moments uninterrupted, and to focus on talking and communicating with each other.
4. Use technology in an interactive way
If you must use a phone or device, use it in conjunction with your child to make it interactive. Talk about what you see and hear, ask questions, and sit face to face to ensure eye contact and engagement.
5. Resist overreliance on technology to pacify boredom
Often we provide children with technological devices, as it can be an easy way to keep them quiet and entertained for long periods. However, the best opportunities to bond, learn, and develop language can be during these times that seem boring. Long car trips often provide a great amount of stimuli out the car window, which can easily inspire a conversation, such as different people doing things, animals and colours and landscapes.
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have speech pathology related questions, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.