Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. At the same time, try not to sound unnatural. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes speaking before you begin to speak. Your own slow, relaxed speech will be far more effective than any criticism or advice such as “slow down” or “try it again slowly.” Such simplistic advice can be felt as demeaning and is not helpful.
Try to decrease criticisms, rapid speech patterns, interruptions and questions. Children speak more freely if they are expressing their own ideas rather than answering an adult’s questions. Instead of asking questions, simply comment on what your child has said, thereby letting him know that you heard him.
You may be tempted to finish sentences or fill in words. Try not to.
Maintain natural eye contact and wait patiently and naturally until he/she is finished.
Give your complete undivided attention to your child at specific pre-decided times in the day. During this time, let the child choose what he would like to do. Let him direct you in activities and decide himself whether to talk or not. When you talk during this special time, use slow, calm and relaxed speech with plenty of pause. This quiet, calm time can be a confidence-builder for younger children, letting them know that their parent enjoys their company. As the child gets older, it can be a time when the child feels comfortable talking about his feelings and experiences with a parent.
Observe the way you interact with your child. Try to increase those times that give your child the message that you are listening to what she says rather than how she says it, and give her plenty of time to talk.
Help all members of the family learn to take turns talking and listening. Children, especially those who stutter, find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listeners’ attention.
Be aware that those who stutter usually have more trouble controlling their speech on the telephone. Please be patient in this situation. If you pick up the phone and hear nothing, be sure that it is not a person who stutters trying to start a conversation before you hang up.
Above all, convey that you accept your child as he is. The most powerful force will be your support of him, whether he stutters or not.