Turn Questions into Comments

Posted: August 17, 2021

It’s common for adults to try to encourage conversation by asking questions.  We like to see what a child knows but this can be difficult for young children. Saying “say” and asking questions when children are learning language can be a lot of pressure.  Instead, try describing what you and your child are doing and keep it simple.    

When we reduce questions and make comments instead, children can hear clear models of the words during play and daily routines, and they are able to choose whether they want to respond or not.  This doesn’t mean that you should avoid questions completely.  Asking and answering questions are an important part of language development.  However, it’s important that we balance questions with comments.  Try to make at least 3 comments for every question that you ask. 

When you do ask your child questions, remember to give them at least 5-10 seconds to respond.  It takes young children longer to process what we have asked them and to respond.  If they don’t respond, answer the question for them so they hear the language model.

Remember, commenting creates less pressure and often leads to more communication.  Your child will learn faster this way!