I am a Speech and Language Therapist and a Mum of two young boys. When I first started as a stammering therapist in the NHS, my supervisor asked me..."what do you think it might feel like to praise your child's talking when he is fluent?" My immediate thought was it was a positive thing. It's great, their talking is fluent and they are not getting stuck on their words. But is it? If we turn it on its head, the message we are inadvertently giving is...it's bad when you stammer. My lesson here was - Be conscious of the words we use, they are powerful.
This stayed with me when I became a parent. The language we use shapes our children. I studied the RIE® (Resources in Infant Educaring) philosophy by taking the RIE® Foundations Course developed by Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber. This philosophy is rooted in respect, authenticity and trust. Where respect for the child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique, capable, human being. My aim as a parents is to support rather than fix; accept rather than teach and hold connection at the heart of my relationship with my children, with an acknowledgement of who they are rather than who I might want them to be. But as we know, its not that easy! I practice daily and a common word in our house is sorry!
So this is where my two passions come together and this respectful, conscious communication approach, where the child is at the centre, is hugely important to supporting a child's confidence and resilience as they grow. Important in any child, whether they stammer or not.
Life Through Little Eyes started as my way of reflecting on my journey as I parented. I continue to do this, however it has developed to supporting other parents and in my work as an Independent Speech and Language Therapist, supporting children who stammer and their families with the same approach.