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Does your preschooler speak too loudly during general interactions in a way that it seems rude or inappropriate? Does he also misunderstand your tone of voice often? Volume and tone of the voice are crucial aspects that impact your kid’s social interaction significantly. There are ways to ensure that your child picks up on voice intonations and inflections to help him communicate better. Let’s look as these ways.
1. Break It Down In Small Steps
First, make your child understand the voice tone and pitch as you /others speak. Guide your child to understand the difference between the positive, negative, interrogative, and neutral tones and pitches. Give him examples to help him understand how the same word can sometimes convey positive, interrogative, and negative feelings when the pitch and tone are changed.
2. Emphasize On Attitude
Explain to your child that voice, words, and body language together determine the state of mind of a person. So, if he wants to sport the right temperament, he needs to focus on modulating his voice and tone while using the right words and body language in accordance with the situation.
3. Demonstrate The Inflection In Voice
You need to demonstrate to your child how meaning of the words changes with the volume, tone, and speed of their speech. Speak out one sentence or question in different volume, tone, and speed and, after every time you speak it, explain what it means and how the meaning changes. For instance, if you say “What is this?” in curious tone and low volume, it could be out of curiosity. But, if you say “What is this?” emphasizing ‘What’ and in a loud volume then it signifies your anger.
4. Practice Inflection With a Range Of Words
Teach your child a range of words that can be used in different tones, pitches, volumes and with different intended meanings. Explain by example what each different change in tone and voice means and eventually he will pick it up.
5. Read Out Books
Sit with your child and read out different books to him. While reading the books, choose one or two sentences and explain your child how the meaning of the sentences changes as he emphasizes on different words in varying volume and tone. Sometimes, reading out the emotions of different characters in books is the easiest and most effective way to teach a child inflection in voice.
6. Watch Television And Videos
Watch various videos and kid’s television programs along with your child and help him identify different tones, such as anger, interrogative, sarcasm, humorous, teasing, and sincerity, in the videos.
7. Introduce Phone Apps
If your preschooler finds handling tablets fun, you can introduce applications that help him identify different tones and volumes of the voice and learn the inflection in voice. Also, provide your kid with a sound recording application that can record his voice so that your child can analyze the modulation in the volume and tone of his voice.
Most of this understanding comes from increased exposure and most kids pick it up over time. Do not worry if your child hasn’t figured it out yet, just continue to enjoy speaking to him and reading to him as he learns. If the problem persists, do consult a speech therapist who can help you and your child out.