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ValPineo
ValPineo asks:
Q:

Can you help me with a "copying" issue?

I have one little guy (he's 3) & he copy's everyone's words. The other children are really getting fed up. It's getting hard, no matter how many times I ask him to use his own words, it seldom happens. When he does try to talk, he uses a voice so low I can't hear him. Any thoughts? Thanks!
In Topics: Preschool, Self esteem and identity, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

AnnieFox
May 10, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Your little boy is still quite young. And language fluency (and the confidence that comes with it) varies tremendously amongst children of the same age. I'm wondering if he's got one or more outgoing, very vocal older siblings. If so, he may have decided that since they get what they want using THEIR words, why should he bother coming up with something of "his own" if he can get the same results borrowing theirs. If it has worked in the past, then it probably looks to him like a winning strategy! Also, if he is frequently being told to "speak up" when he does use his own words, then that may be an obstacle he's not yet willing to push past. Is he in preschool? If so, I'd speak with his teacher and get his/her evaluation on your son's language development. Otherwise, I suggest that think of ways to encourage his language development. For example, if the other kids say "We want pancakes." and he echoes "We want pancakes." you might look directly at him and ask "And what would you like on top of your pancakes?" When he gives you an answer, and if you truly can not hear what he's said, use humor! Respond, 'Excuse me, did you say you want elephants on your pancakes?" He's likely to laugh and tell you again what he wants. The second time, he'll probably speak more loudly.  I hope this helps!

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