How can I make my son speak more fluently?
Q: My son is 3 years old. We are living in Netherlands for the last two and half years. We are facing a problem with his speech. He was confused till he was two and half, as I used to speak in Hindi and English with him. But now he is in the play school and I speak with him Dutch, as that is the national language. How can I make him learn to speak fluently? For the last two months, he has picked up Dutch well. Yet, he speaks only a few words like - bird, juice, bus, car, TV, etc. He doesn't make sentences like - Give me juice, instead he says mama juice! Is this normal? He sometimes talks in baby language. I am really worried about him. How long will he take to improve? I get tense when I see other children talking. He is smart at puzzles, arranging his toys and other activities. He knows the name from movies, but does not speak them clearly. He is not good at concentration. Can I use Omega 3 for him? Is it available in the liquid form? Is it advisable to use it?
A:Your three-year-old son does not need any medicine or tonic. Most children grow up hearing ONE language, their mother tongue. Generally it would be spoken in the area. In your case, you have exposed him to Hindi and English first and now to Dutch. Please realize that he will take a little more time than others, who are native speakers. Language is mainly for communication and as he plays with his friends, he will pick up the usages of Dutch. As you notice he has already picked up the names for things in his home and school. Give him some time. There is no need to teach him full sentences, or to worry about his fluency. Focus on his strengths and interests and surely he will relax and use more Dutch verbal labels for his play and other activities. Many Indian families try and keep the child familiar with their own mother tongue. It is an advantage, not a problem to speak more than one language early. But since you are concerned, you could let him use only Dutch and develop confidence and fluency. But you could play songs and chants in Hindi a few times a week. He is only 3 years old. Give him freedom to grow up into a happy child and other things like language and school performance will happen.