Children love to talk. Whether it is while playing or while quarreling, children use their voices to shout, scream, talk, yell, etc. When children use their voices for long periods, it can cause strain on their vocal folds. It is important to teach our children how to help them take care of their voices. The earlier children learn how to take care of their voices, the better it is for their vocal health.
Here are some tips and ideas that you can use to help your child take care of their voice:
1.Modifications when speaking in noisy environments
- When we speak in noisy environments, we tend to speak at a louder volume. Children may even yell and scream to send their message across. Reduce background noises as much as possible when there is a conversation taking place in the vicinity. Some examples include reducing the volume of the TV, music, etc.
- Ask your child to face the person when they are talking to them. This helps the listener hear well as they can also get any facial cues when your child is speaking. Also when we speak face to face, we generally do not have to speak at higher volumes.
- When we speak at distances, we tend to speak louder. If they are far away from the listener, they move closer to the listener and then talk to them.
- Teach them to use clear speech.
2.Monitor and regulate excessive and extensive talking periods
- Excessive and extensive talking can cause a lot of strain on the vocal folds.
- Help your child understand that conversations are a two-way interaction. Encourage them to listen to the conversation. These listening periods serve as short breaks for when your child is speaking extensively.
- Foster turn-taking during a conversation, thus giving breaks in between.
- Encourage them to take voice breaks during the day.
- Help them understand how to use their inside voice when they are indoors.
3.Use some alternatives to loud talking
- Instead of screaming, shouting, or yelling, have your child use some other sounds such as tapping, clapping, or knocking to get attention from someone.
- They can also use gestures to gain attention from someone such as patting, waving, etc.
- Help your child understand how to speak slowly and use clear speech.
- Help your child to speak using a normal voice volume. Practice this in various scenarios.
4.Teach them to self-monitor their voice
- Record your child’s voice at various volumes. Have them listen and rate their voices as loud, normal, or soft. This will help them be aware and understand the difference between various vocal volumes.
- Use loud, normal, or soft voices with your child. Have them listen and rate them as loud, normal, or soft. Then, they turn the loud voices softer by saying them at a lower volume. This will help them speak with a low loudness.
- Your child can also maintain a book to document their vocal patterns throughout the day in various situations.
5.Help them understand the importance of hydration
- Ensure your child is having an adequate water intake based on their age, daily activities, etc. Hydration is crucial to maintain good vocal care.
- Limit the daily intake of aerated and caffeinated beverages that may lead to dehydration.
- You can use a humidifier at home if you live in a dry or dusty area.
6.Promote the importance of rest/ sleep for the vocal fold health
- Sleep is very important for your child. When we use our voices throughout the day, we get tired, just like how our body gets tired too. As we rest or get that well-deserved good night’s sleep, our vocal folds get the much-needed rest from all the strain throughout the day. This is why resting your vocal folds are important.
Please note: For any concerns related to your child’s voice or if your child has voice issues that do not improve, please contact a certified speech-language pathologist. A speech-language pathologist will assess and may also recommend a visit to an ENT if deemed necessary to find out if there are any causes of the voice problems.
If you are interested in speech therapy services, please contact us: Therapy Services – Speech Improvement Center
If you are interested in speech therapy careers, please contact us: Employment Opportunities – Speech Improvement Center
Check our locations here: Locations – Speech Improvement Center