When asking a child a question, we often expect them to answer us right away. Even with questions like, “How old are you?” you would think a child could answer right away. Well, with kids, especially small ones, it can take their brains a little longer to come up with an answer. They just need a little more time to process our questions. Unfortunately, as adults, it’s hard for us to not have answers NOW.
We often end up answering the question for them because they didn’t answer fast enough. But if we just give them time, at least 5 seconds, they’ll have time to process what’s been asked and can give you an answer. Now it may not be the correct answer, but they’ll at least be able to respond.
This technique helps children process their thoughts, learn language and speech, and builds self-confidence. I used this method effectively everyday in the classroom, when asking my Kindergartners questions.
So the next time you ask your child a question, just wait 5 seconds. You may even have to count in your head slowly to yourself: 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand, 4 one thousand, 5 one thousand! Try it and you’ll see their eyes light up as their little brains figure out an answer, having been given enough time to respond.
It’s all about being patient, something I’m still working on!