8 ways to help your quiet child who speaks too softly in school

July 19, 2019
  • 1 / 9

    First, it’s important to establish why your child is speaking quietly, says veteran educator Helen Marjan, who used to head Lorna Whiston Schools.

    “Is it due to a physical reason, such as having weak vocal cords or a naturally quiet voice; a social reason, such as a lack of self-confidence, nervousness, or perhaps even being in a family situation where it is better to be seen and not heard; or her personality, which may be naturally quiet and reserved?”

    She offers some ideas to help overcome this problem.

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  • Read aloud
    2 / 9 Read aloud

    Develop a love of books and enjoy reading aloud every day. Practise character voices – some loud, some soft. Have fun recording the reading and listening back to it together. Is your child’s voice projection consistent, or does it sometimes fade?

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  • Breathing exercises
    3 / 9 Breathing exercises

    Show her how to breathe and speak from her abdomen, rather than her throat. Can she make her tummy go in and out?

    Related: 10 ways to help your shy child become a confident speaker

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  • Proper posture
    4 / 9 Proper posture

    Show your child how to lift up her chin slightly when she talks, so her voice doesn’t disappear into her chest.

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  • Practise
    5 / 9 Practise

    Expose her to plenty of social situations where she can interact with others and practise using her voice.

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  • Make it fun
    6 / 9 Make it fun

    Play with a set of telephones made from empty tin cans. This makes voice projection fun.

    Related: This could be why your toddler is not talking yet

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  • Take classes
    7 / 9 Take classes

    Enrol your child for speech and drama classes, where specific voice projection and confidence building are the programme’s key focus.

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  • Encourage her
    8 / 9 Encourage her

    Never compare or shame her in front of others – this will only make the problem worse.

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  • Seek professional help
    9 / 9 Seek professional help

    If her voice is really very soft and you suspect a physical issue, take her along to see a speech therapist.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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