Preschoolers are generally a chatty bunch. As our babies grow up, they often fall in love with the sound of their voice.
Whether they’re talking to their parents or anyone else, kids between the ages of 3 – 5 are often happy to chat.
With this in mind, parents shouldn’t worry if their child is on the quieter side. However, a toddler that isn’t chatty at all can cause parents to worry.
Why won’t my preschooler talk at school?
Sending your child off to preschool is a big moment. While parents do their best to prepare their kids for school, there may still be areas for improvement.
One common issue many preschoolers face is a lack of social interaction at school. As your toddler is suddenly adjusting to the idea of interacting with others, being in preschool can be overwhelming. These types of feelings can cause your toddler to experience social anxiety in the form of selective mutism.
Why should my child talk at school?
If your child is shy, not talking at school may not be a big deal. However, if your child never speaks at school, this may be a sign of selective mutism.
Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder. This disorder occurs when a child isn’t able to communicate effectively in social settings. While your child may speak when they feel comfortable and relaxed, failing to speak in a classroom setting is indicative that he feels uncomfortable at school.
How can I improve my toddlers’ social skills?
Developing a level of comfort will happen over time. Parents must make an effort to coax their children into talking without making them feel pressured.
Avoid forcing your child to interact with others or speak in the classroom. Never punish your child for failing to speak. Treat your child as naturally as possible, so they feel safe and comfortable.
Model conversational skills at home
Even though your child may already be comfortable speaking at home, use this time to model positive, conversational skills. Talk to your child about yourself and your feelings.
Go over the details of your day with your toddler to help them better understand the ins and outs of human interaction. As you explain your own emotions, make sure to ask your toddler how they feel.
As your child practices speaking with you, they’ll slowly warm up to conversing with others. If your child is quieter than usual, don’t take offense to this. Help them feel comfortable about their emotions as you express that you love them as they are.
Is my child experiencing anxiety?
If your preschooler is not talking at school, pay attention. Finding out why your toddler isn’t talking will help you make sure they’re developing properly. As you help your child grow up, remember to let them be themselves, whether they are chatting or not.
It’s likely that your child may feel intense anxiety about speaking up at school. For this reason, parents should be understanding and kind as they help their children become more social.
Encourage your child to talk by praising them when they speak up. Making them feel like their voice matters will go a long way in improving their comfort levels when speaking at school.
Another way to encourage social interaction at school is to make sure your child sits amongst their peers. While you shouldn’t force them to talk, placing them near others that are talking can encourage them to converse as well.
Understanding social anxiety
Many adults experience social anxiety, but few connect the dots with their kids. Gaining an understanding of social anxiety will help you better relate to your toddler.
Research more about selective mutism and how kids overcome it. Many experts suggest explaining the concept of social anxiety to children. Understanding that what they’re feeling is normal will help your child warm up socially.
Consider reading children’s books about social anxiety to your toddler. In doing this, they’ll realize they’re not alone. Likewise, they’ll have a better understanding of how to overcome these emotions