Making Each Moment a Teachable One

Fellow speech pathologists will likely agree that almost every interaction a speech path has with a child tends to be educational, and dare I say it, overly verbose. Proud to provide those teachable, language-rich experiences to any child, I found myself instinctively shaping the interaction between a mother and her child during a recent trip to the grocery store. While selecting my produce, I overheard the child exclaim to his mother, “Wow! Those oranges are HUGE!” To which the mother replied, “Just put them in the bag.” I was borderline devastated. So, after greeting the mother with a smile, I casually replied, “You’re right, they are gigantic! They’re so round and smooth. Did you feel the rind?” A beautiful 2 minute conversation ensued about oranges, where they grow, how they feel, taste, and what is derived from them. And by seizing this moment, I felt a sense of bliss as I brought a bit of vocabulary, topic maintenance, and general knowledge into this child’s world. I then ran into the duo in the checkout line and overheard the mother commenting, “You’re right Jake, that line is longer than ours. Ours is short.”

Mission accomplished.

‘Making each moment a teachable one’ is easily accessible to any parent and not unreasonably time consuming. I encourage you- acknowledge and expand on your child’s comments, employ open-ended critical thinking questions (what do you think of…), play language-rich games in the car (e.g., I spy, categories), and seize teachable moments.

Posted in Uncategorized.