This week, my article was featured and published by AGBell
I hope as you spend time with family and friends this holiday season,
these tips will help you focus on your child and their listening and spoken language.
H-O-L-I-D-A-Y-S: Tips for Families
People love holidays! Adults busily prepare for the festivities while children are abuzz with excitement. Traditions are passed down as family and friends gather. Below are suggestions so you can enjoy the HOLIDAYS and focus on your child and their listening skills and spoken language.
Large family dinners are noisy so plan accordingly. One suggestion is ensuring your child knows the topic of the conversation. Consider using “conversation starter cards” around the table which are always fun. Also, have someone special seated next to your child who can repeat a joke or summarize a story if your child mishears.
Include your child in the holiday preparations and focus on vocabulary that is often specific to the season. What is mistletoe? A menorah? The Nutcracker? A manger? Spend time reading holiday stories, cooking traditional foods and learning the words to holiday songs. Your child can create decorations to hang around your home and tell guests about them when they visit.
Devices. Keep your child’s FM charged and ready to use. Role-play so your child is comfortable asking others to wear the FM and can explain how it helps him hear. At the dining table, place the FM mic in the middle or concealed in the centerpiece. If you attend a holiday performance or a faith-based service, contact the venue to request extra amplification such as a microphone, a hearing loop and captions. Another important device is your camera. Take photos to include in your child’s Listening and Spoken Language Experience Book.
Arrange seating with your child’s hearing in mind. Encourage your child to choose a good seat for hearing at dinner and for the gift exchange. Is there a seat away from the bustling kitchen, or the room where the teenagers are playing video games? When opening gifts, suggest sitting in a circle so your child can both listen and watch.
Your traditions are an important way to expand your child’s listening and spoken language skills. If gift giving is your tradition, choose presents that will provide hours of creative play and stimulate conversation. Most of your child’s memories will be about people, not presents.
Simplify. Ask your child what traditions he feels are most important. You may be surprised by his reply. Consider skipping old traditions that have lost appeal or that your family has outgrown. Time spent together rather than on activities will be most remembered. Keep a Joy Journal to jot down moments of triumphs, laughter, inspiration and the “hearing” miracles you enjoy over the holidays.