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Why does my child speak less?

Q: I am worried about my 3-year-old son's speech problem. He is bright since childhood and was exposed to 3 languages – Hindi, English and Bengali. Since my husband was posted abroad, he spent his childhood in USA, UK and India. We have put him in playschool where he has picked up rhymes, colours and alphabets (English and Hindi). At home we speak to him in Bengali. He is toilet trained, eats on his own, dresses himself up and likes playing with children. His playschool teachers said that he speaks quite less as compared to other children. By nature, my husband and me are quite reserved and not talkative. If we ask him a question, he replies but does not start a conversation on his own. Ninety percent of his speech is clear and can be understood by strangers but in broken sentences with improper grammar. Please advise.

A:Congrats on having such a bright and competent little boy. I see no evidence of any problem. Since he hears three languages, his speech could be a little slower. But in the long run, it is a tremendous advantage to be exposed to three languages in early childhood. Children are different from each other. There is no harm if your child is quiet, as long as he is happy. If both parents are reserved by nature, it is only natural for the child to be reserved too. You could introduce him to children’s music and also read out stories from illustrated books. Let him grow at his own pace and with his own interests. Enjoy your parenting experience.


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