Oftentimes as adults we forget that our child has different interests from ours, we start to bombard and talk for our children. Waiting is a very powerful strategy to allow your child to i) start an interaction ii) respond to what you’re saying iii) comment on what you’ve done. Hanen (2011) advises a three step approach in waiting:
- Stop talking/stay silent
- Lean forward
- Look at your child expectantly
This builds confidence in your child to understand that you are ready for them to respond to you, or better still, to take the lead in the conversation. It is important to ensure that they receive validation for their attempts to communicate, therefore always respond to them immediately. The most important thing about waiting is to allow your child to understand that there is enough time to respond to a message and that you expect them to initiate communication with you/ This can be in the form of gestures, words, or sounds.