Detecting a Speech Delay: How to Help Your Child

As your child begins to express himself, it’s common to hear mispronounced words and sounds that are barely audible at a young age. However, as he continues to develop and does not correct the pronunciations naturally or exhibits signs of a stutter, it may be time to enlist the help of speech therapists in the community or within your school district.

The good news is that you can also help your child develop his speech at home. Through fun activities and lessons that will keep your little one talking and expressing himself, your child’s speech and communication skills will continue to develop.

Early Identification is Key

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), concern about a speech or language delay should occur if your child is not speaking by the age of one, if his language or speech is different from that of children his age and if the speech is not clear.

A speech delay can significantly affect your child’s social, personal and academic life if not addressed. Early identification is key. According to the LDA, a child can quickly fall behind in learning or communicating with others if speech and language learning is delayed. Early identification includes evaluation and treatment for children who are three years old or younger.

Generally, children acquire speech and language skills naturally through exposure and experience with the language in their environment, says Lori Heisler, assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at California State University – San Marcos. “They go through a series of developmental milestones, each of which are a necessary building block for progression to the next milestone,” she says.

Some of the milestones include babbling between six and 10 months, pointing and intentional communication through gestures and vocalization between 10 and 12 months, first words around one year and two-word combinations between 12 and 24 months. According to Heisler, after two years of age, vocabulary and grammar should continue to develop at a rapid rate.

“These oral language skills are necessary prerequisites to future literacy development and learning in school,” says Heisler. “Obstacles that toddlers face include late identification of delays and disorders.”

If you are concerned that your child’s speech is delayed, it is recommended that you contact your local school district for a speech and language evaluation. Although evaluations vary, it is likely a speech pathologist will conduct standardized tests, observe your child’s interactions with others and conduct follow-up visits for further observations.

If treatment is necessary, speech and language therapists may conduct home visit sessions to work with your child during play or at school where he or she can meet in a group session to learn communication, rules of conversation and language models with an expert.

Helping Your Child

Parent and caregiver guidance is crucial when your child needs speech and language treatment. Luckily, there are many activities you can participate in with your child that will complement the treatment your child is receiving by a professional.

Help boost your child’s speech development and offer a playful activity at the same time with these suggestions:

  • Read Books Together: From bedtime stories to afternoon fairy tales, reading to your child exposes her to correct pronunciations and language models.
  • Chatty Sessions: In order for your child to develop language skills, she needs practice. Begin modeling language by chatting with your little one on a regular basis. Offer phrases such as “Mommy is dusting the furniture right now” and “Daddy is cooking dinner” to prompt conversations and help your child identify daily tasks through words.
  • Nature Explorations: A walk to the park can quickly turn into a learning moment for your child. While taking a walk or a hike, point out objects, such as trees and leaves and ask your child to repeat your words. Your child may learn a few words and begin to model your pronunciations naturally when a fun activity doesn’t seem like a speech lesson.
  • Taking Turns: In general, most young children struggle with expressing their needs and wants when they cannot use their speech. Teach your child how to share and verbalize his needs and wants with turn-taking games. Help your child learn phrases such as “my turn” and “your turn” as you are playing cards, board games or blocks. This speech lesson may also help your child learn patience.

The key to helping your child’s speech delay is to employ patience while allowing him or her time to process words and pronunciation. When parents finish a child’s sentence or bombard him with questions, it can cause anxiety, frustration and eventually, temper tantrums that will only taint the fun activity.

By allowing your child to express himself during play and fun activities at home, he or she can explore and experience language in a natural environment, says Heisler. “These activities provide opportunities for parents to make vocabulary and language structures more salient for the child while he or she is acquiring language,” she says.

How to Help a Preschooler Who Chews on Everything

By Marcia Hall

Children, like adults, develop habits and quirks that are unique to them. These habits are often most recognized when the person or child feels stress or anxiety. While there are many ways to help relieve and reduce the stress a child feels, it is not really possible to eliminate it all together. Not all of these habits are harmful, but some of them can cause problems as your child grows. While chewing on things can be harmless in some instances, it can also cause many problems. When children chew on hair, clothes or objects, it can spread germs, ruin clothes and make other people uncomfortable. Here are a few things you can do to help find healthy outlets for your child when he chews.

Recognize and educate those around your child that the chewing is simply his way of trying to relax in a situation where he is uncomfortable. Some children choose to become shy and others act out when they are uncomfortable. Your child may choose to chew to relive the tension he feels. There is nothing wrong with this method of release. Often, children who discover how to control their stress early in life tend to grow into well-adjusted older children and adults. There are many unhealthy control behaviors that adults choose to use that can be very harmful when done frequently, from drinking to over-eating. In comparison, chewing seems pretty benign.

Avoid making the child feel bad about his habit. This can be difficult, especially if chewing his clothes tends to put holes in them, but it is important to let him know that you understand this habit is simply a release of emotion for him.

Help him by finding an object that he can chew on that will not hurt his teeth or ruin clothes. You want the object to be something that he can wear or keep close to him so that it will be accessible when he needs it. There are a number of products that you can purchase made for this very reason. Anything from a necklace or bracelet to a pencil topper may work. These items are made from BPA free material and will not harm the teeth. They come in all colors, textures and shapes and are fun for children to carry or wear.

Be sure to make time daily with your child where he is free to share some of the emotions he is feeling. Your child may need just a little time alone with a loved one before the stories of stressful situations come pouring out of his tiny mouth. However, your child might need more than the average amount of time you can give him daily to share with you. If possible, when you notice the chewing to be getting more frequent, try spending a little extra one-on-one time with him. This could be in the form of a special date with mom, dad or a loved nanny. Asking open-ended questions is the best way to get a child to share details. “Is anything bothering you about school?” “Do you have any stories about the other kids at school you want to share with me?” “What is your least favorite thing about your class this year?” At times, children don’t really know how to express their fears and worries. Pretend play can be a great way for your child to share the details that are making him uneasy. The stories he is unable to share directly with you will likely come out through his imagination.

Habits like chewing often begin when a child is under stress, but they can also resurface when the child is working hard to learn something new. It often becomes something a child subconsciously does when he’s thinking. While giving him something healthy to chew as an alternative to clothing and helping your child release his emotions will help, it is likely that this custom will resurface anytime his brain is working hard to learn something new. It is important for those who love and care for him to not only tolerate it, but also embrace it. When you do, it is likely that the chewing will eventually decrease and he will outgrow it.

5 Problems Nannies and Grandmothers Face

Things can get a bit rocky when Grandma comes to spend time with her grandchild and her nanny. Family relationships typically already have their fair share of complications – however minor – and when you throw a nanny into the mix, they can get even more complicated. Here are some of the common issues that come up.

Grandma is breaking all the rules. It’s a grandma’s job to spoil her grandkids, which is great for the kids but can be a big challenge for the nanny. The nanny’s job is to keep the kids on a schedule, make sure they eat healthy meals and snacks, and be vigilant about encouraging good behavior. Often, Grandma’s spoiling means the opposite is happening. Finding a happy medium between the two isn’t always easy, but it can be accomplished when both sides compromise.

Kids are bored spending time with Grandma. Sometimes Grandma’s idea of a fun activity or day isn’t the same as the child’s. Although this is a common problem between adults and kids, it can be an even bigger issue when it’s between Grandma and her grandchild. The child’s disinterest can be heartbreaking to Grandma if she doesn’t get to see her very often, is trying to introduce her to a family tradition, wants to share something that’s special to her, or is physically unable to do what the child wants to do. The nanny can help by coordinating activities that are fun and interesting to the child and that Grandma can comfortably keep up with and by asking the child to help come up with fun ideas too. When the child is part of planning the day, she’s more likely to compromise and plan a day that includes activities for both her and Grandma to enjoy. This will also give Grandma a chance to learn more about her grandchild’s interests.

Grandma can’t take care of the kids by herself. Seniors don’t often realize how much physical energy and agility is needed to care for kids. If Grandma is having some health issues or is just dealing with the limitations that come with getting older, she may not be able to keep her grandchild happy and safe by herself. In these cases, the nanny can act as a second set of hands and gentle supervisor. She can do much of the hands-on childcare tasks, like diapering, bathing and feeding, while Grandma focuses on the fun things, like reading a favorite book or playing a game. This tag team approach lets Grandma enjoy her time with her grandchildren while the nanny keeps watch over their safety.

Grandma is critical of the nanny. Sometimes Grandma isn’t happy with the level of childcare that the nanny is providing. Of course, the nanny is the person the parents have chosen to care for their child, but that decision isn’t always respected by the grandma. She may not like the nanny’s discipline methods, the type of food she prepares for the child or the type of activities they do together. This can translate into Grandma criticizing the nanny’s choices and actions throughout the day, which can lead to the nanny wanting to spend as much time away from Grandma as possible. This is not a recipe for a good visit. It’s important that Grandma talk with the parents directly if she has serious concerns about the nanny’s performance. They are the ones in charge of managing the nanny. If the issues are more annoying than truly concerning, it’s best that Grandma simply keep them to herself for the sake of the relationship.

Gossip gets started. It’s natural for the nanny and Grandma to find common ground around the parents. This can be a great way to jumpstart their relationship. Unfortunately, these conversations can lead to gossiping about the parents. The nanny may share her frustrations with Grandma about how Mom comes home late too many nights or how Dad doesn’t spend a lot of time with the kids. Grandma may share her concerns that the new mortgage is too much for the parents to financially handle or that she doesn’t like the way they fight in front of the kids. These comments may seem innocent at first, however they can cause major problems between the parents and Grandma and between the parents and the nanny. It’s best for everyone if the nanny and Grandma stick to topics that they would feel comfortable talking about in front of the parents too.

Visits by Grandma can be hard when there’s a nanny in the house, but with some ground rules in place and a positive attitude they can work out well for the whole family.

Top 10 Rules Families Should Live By

By Marcia Hall

Parents often institute rules for children out of a necessity to instill order and balance in the household; however, these rules are often not clearly defined and explained. Furthermore, they are usually for the children only. The healthiest rules you can give children are the ones that parents and caregivers should be following as well. By making a list of family rules you are setting a pleasant tone in the household and uniting the family.

  • Consider other people’s feelings: In the heat of the moment it’s easy to see a certain situation from your perspective only. In fact, it is almost impossible to stop your reaction when you are wronged and instead consider the other persons intentions and feelings. However, when parents learn to consider the whole situation from their child’s point of view it can help resolve problems more quickly. It will also teach your children to do the same.
  • Solve problems with your words: All problems can be solved with words. Unfortunately, it also usually takes much longer to do so. Good communication is necessary, and sacrifice is often required by both parties. This is why children and even parents so easily resort to using their bodies to fix problems. It is important to remember that if the solution to a problem does not involve compromise, it will usually not last. The problem will resurface and you will have to face it once again.
  • Find a kind way to say what you need to say: There will always be negative things that need to be said. At some point, everyone in the family will be angry and issues will need to be addressed. However, there is always a kind way to say what you need to say. That goes for both you and for your children. When your child has not cleaned his room after being asked a dozen times to do so, there is a kind way to address the issue. When your four-year-old is mad because you are not giving her candy before dinner, there is a nice way for her to tell you how she feels.
  • Work to heal relationships that have been hurt: Saying “I am sorry” is usually just the first step to healing a broken relationship. Most of the time, the second step involves helping to fix what was physically or emotionally broken. For younger children, this can mean a hug or handshake. It can mean that they help rebuild the tower that was knocked over or repair the plate that was broken. For older children and adults, it can mean that they show a commitment to the relationship by sacrificing something important to them.
  • Work hard and do your best: You cannot be perfect at everything. Good grades are not always the best judge of hard work. Sometimes the A students are really not working hard at all and sometimes the D students are trying their hardest to learn the lessons. Hard work is something that is seen and felt. Setting the rule to do your best and work hard gives your child a good work ethic. It leaves them feeling proud of their own accomplishments, even if those accomplishments seem small to the outside world.
  • Be honest and tell the truth: Honesty is the bedrock of every healthy relationship. Giving importance to this rule gives strength to the family. When you tell your kids that what they do does not matter as much as being honest about what they do, your children will be more likely to come to you with difficult issues as they get older. However, this rule – like all the family rules – must go both ways. Honesty is often difficult for parents to achieve. There are times when your children are very young that you may choose to withhold specific details of events that the child would not fully understand. However, children easily sense when the truth is being withheld from them. Honesty really is always the best policy.
  • Show forgiveness and grace: Forgiveness means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for a mistake or offense. Without forgiveness a relationship will fall apart because everyone makes mistakes and offends others at some point. To show grace means that you give someone good things, even when they have done something that would cause you to be resentful. It is easy to say you have forgiven someone, but it is not until grace is shown that forgiveness is complete.
  • Treat your property with care: These days it is very easy to go out and buy a new toy, electronic device or piece of furniture that is ruined. Some families may have a harder time affording to do this than others, but the stuff itself is easily accessible. When children grow up seeing their possessions as things that are easily replaced it does not help them learn value in life. Expecting your children to take care of their property will help them learn to take value in what they are given and in what is earned. Instead of quickly replacing the toy that was broken, try to help your children fix it or let them know how they can earn the money to replace it. Sometimes the best way to understand how to care for your belongings is to feel the pain and sadness that occurs when you break or lose something that will never be replaced.
  • Treat other people’s property with respect: It is pretty common for adults to see something that someone else has and imagine themselves with it. Most of the time this leads to us wishing we had the same thing. Children are no different. The younger they are the quicker they demand to have whatever they see. It is important for children to learn early on that they will not get everything they want and that other people’s property should be honored and left alone.
  • Work together: Family unity and a sense of togetherness are important to a healthy and happy family. When parents and caregivers work well together children see that a lot can be accomplished through team work.

Perfection is not an option. You will not succeed in always following the rules and never making mistakes. In fact, you and your children will most likely break these rules frequently. The important thing is that both you and your children are working to create a healthy and loving place to live and grow.

How Young is Too Young – What You Should Know When Deciding on Activities for Your Child

One of the most important yet difficult roles that parents have is preparing their children to be independent. Parents want their children to be confident, capable and well-prepared for life, but they also always see their children as the small, helpless babies they once cuddled and cared for.

The journey to independence is especially difficult when it comes time for parents to know what activities are appropriate for what ages. They may remember what age they were when, say, they were allowed to babysit or ride their bikes with friends, but they understand that times have changed considerably from when they were children 20, 30, or even 40 years ago.

Today’s parents worry that they will not be cool enough — that they will make the wrong decision and not let their children do what all the other kids are doing. Parents, on some level, always want to be liked. Even more so, parents also worry that they will let their children have privileges they are not developmentally ready for yet. Seeing a scary movie can give a kid nightmares, but allowing a child to go to the park unattended can have much more severe and lasting consequences if something tragic should happen. This fear leaves parents not wanting to take any chances with their children’s safety.

So: how do you let your children become individuals without keeping them children in a bubble? They should be given the freedom and opportunity to learn how to be independent and self-sufficient, but knowing when they’re ready is always tricky. It’s up to parents to use their best judgment when determining which situations are and aren’t appropriate for their children.

The First Sleepover

After starting school, a child’s first sleepover with friends is often her next major step toward independence. The age at which a child can successfully handle a sleepover depends a great deal on her own temperament and personality. She should be thoroughly night-time potty-trained, that way she won’t run the risk of an embarrassing accident. She should also know the friend and the friend’s family pretty well, so she’s not camping out in an uncomfortable or confusing environment. Kids who need a special routine or bedtime procedure, or who are much happier at home and in control, might need to wait longer for a sleepover than children who are more independent, flexible and carefree. According to the Lucy Daniels Center, children are generally ready for a sleepover with friends after they turn 4, but again, it’s going to be as much a matter of observation as anything else.

Staying Home Alone

As if leaving their child in someone else’s care weren’t scary enough for parents, before long parents begin to wonder when it is OK to leave their children home alone, totally unattended. Children, eager for independence, may ask specifically to be left at home; parents, eager for a break, may want to make life easier and run errands without the children in tow. According to Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, the time to start thinking about leaving children home alone is when they’re around age 10 or 11, though the exact age of readiness will depend on the child. It’s also important to note that some states have laws on the books that set a minimum age requirement for being left home alone.

If you want to leave your child home alone, he should have good decision-making skills and know what to do in an emergency situation. He should be responsible and trustworthy, and capable of handling himself in a crisis. (For instance, he doesn’t fall to pieces when confronted with a spilled drink.) Parents should begin the vetting process by talking to their children about how to stay safe at home by themselves, including not answering the door for strangers or using the oven or stove until they are old enough to do so. Parents should also make small test runs, such as quick trips to the corner store or to the library, leaving the kids home alone. If both the child and adult feel comfortable with the situation, you can gradually stay out longer.

Riding Bikes to School Alone

Bikes mean freedom for kids, and that means they’ll want to ride farther on their own as they age. Injuries are a known risk, but most parents focus on the bigger dangers: traffic safety and child predators. If you live near major intersections or highways, you might want to be more strict about where and how often you let your kid ride, even if it’s on the way to school, than if you lived in a quieter or more residential area. You can also check with the sex offender registry to determine if there are neighborhood elements you might not want your kids to bike through alone.

Once parents decide their children are old enough to get to school safely, there are a few precautions they can take to help ensure their kids stay safe. Children should be required to wear a helmet at all times and to ride on sidewalks instead of on busy streets. You might also consider giving your kids prepaid cell phones so they can call or text to check in once they’ve reached their destination. Children are generally ready for the privilege of riding their bikes to school alone around 9 to 11 years old.


After children are adept at caring for themselves, they may want to try caring for others by babysitting. Babysitting is a great way for teens and pre-teens to earn some extra spending cash once they are up for the challenge. The skills needed for babysitting build on the skills needed for staying home alone. Babysitting teens should have good decision-making skills, be responsible and know what to do in an emergency. They should not only know how to care for themselves, but also how to care for someone younger, including preparing food or keeping choking hazards away from small children. They should be level-headed and authoritative enough to deal with crying babies, whiny toddlers and sneaky children.

There are many steps parents can take to help prepare their teens for the responsibilities of babysitting. You can teach teens what to do in emergency situations and how to handle all sorts of routine daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and changing diapers. Teens and pre-teens that want to babysit can also benefit greatly from a babysitting class, such as those offered by the American Red Cross. These classes will teach teens basic safety skills such as the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. Pre-teens around the age of 11 or 12 are generally ready for simple babysitting jobs, while older teens can handle longer jobs or jobs with multiple children.

Watching R-Rated Movies

Watching questionable movies is one milestone that all young children eventually want to conquer. Parents are waiting for this, too; no mom or dad wants to be stuck watching children’s movies forever. Opinions on the right age for children to watch R-rated movies vary greatly, though, and it’s tough knowing when your child can see something for adults. Complicating matters, not all ratings are created the same. Some movies are rated PG-13 for intense violence, while others are rated R for fleeting language.

Some sources, such as the Children’s Physicians Network, recommend expressly forbidding all R-rated movies until children are at least 13, as young children are simply not ready to mentally process adult themes and graphic violence. Other sources, such as A.O. Scott at The New York Times, argue that questionable movies open up children’s minds to difficult, real-life situations that require higher-order thinking skills to process.

It is probably best not to expressly forbid movies only based on what rating they receive. Because quite a few factors go into movie ratings, it is entirely possible for two movies with the same rating to be vastly different in terms of appropriateness. If you’re wondering about a movie in particular, you can check out movie sites for parents such as and for helpful reviews. Then you can decide which movies are appropriate for children to watch by themselves, which movies you need to watch together and which movies you don’t want your children viewing at all. Common age ranges for R-rated movies are usually in the early teens, with strong parental input.

Growing Up

Helping children gain independence can be a rocky road. Parents often make mistakes and let their children do things they are not ready to do, or they don’t allow their children to do the things they should be doing. No parent is perfect. What matters most is that you do your best to teach your children to be independent while always keeping your children’s safety and best interests in mind.

How NOT to Get Scammed in Your Nanny Job Search

You are a qualified nanny looking for a new position and a wealth of offers and job listings greet you! It seems simple to just pick the best salary or perk package and start the process, but a little diligence in checking things out in advance can save you serious money, time and effort in the long run. A good rule of thumb is that nannies should never pay out to their new employers (nor should they be paid before providing their services!), even those who are abroad and are finding it difficult to obtain their visa and are tempted to accept legal help in the US… for a fee.  However, some scammers are more subtle than just asking for money.

Here are some red flags to look out for and ways to separate nanny job fact from fiction.

It’s a Two Way Street

In any job, the employee has to be as comfortable with her employer as her employer is with her. In nannying, this is even more important. Because of the personal nature of the job, it’s entirely normal to request a list of references from prior nannies or household employees. Contact the individuals to ask how things went. If the family isn’t willing to provide references and contact information or acts as if they are shocked by the question and attempts to embarrass you into dropping the request, drop them from your list instead.

Check Their Check

If you respond to a nanny ad with fabulous perks and a high salary and are quickly hired with little to no interviewing or effort, consider this a red flag. It could be a difficult environment to work in (and they are desperate), or it could be a familiar scam in action. If your hiring process involves their sending you a check for your services in advance, be even more suspicious. This is often followed shortly thereafter by an emergency request that something unexpected popped up, so would you mind forwarding a portion of the funds to a third party ASAP to help? Meanwhile, the bogus first check is in the process of bouncing at your bank, costing you both fees and whatever portion of the funds you sent your fake employers back.

Repeat Offenders

Google is your friend. A 20 second move of copying and pasting the ad into Google will show where and when it ran before. Obviously, if a nanny ad for a private family appears every other month, or even every three to six months, it’s a red flag. Either this is an impossible work situation if the repeated ad is periodically run, or it could be a straight scam. Also, check if the same ad runs in newspapers or Craigslist postings in different regions across the country. No family needing childcare is bouncing around that much.

Protect Your Identity

You might think that as long as you don’t fall for any financial hits or dodgy ads that have you meeting in private, you can’t be risking much. However, not taking the time to really check out your potential new employer can cost you something even more valuable than a few hundred dollars: your identity. Make sure the position is legit, that you have met your employer prior to accepting the job or that you have an objective party (of your choosing, if long distance) meet and check them out before you send over your social security and personal information for “tax reasons”. While you will need to fill out these forms for a legit job, as household employees are to be legally paid within the system, it’s important to make sure you know who you are handing off sensitive information to first.

6 Embarrassing Topics Your Child Might Bring up in Public and What to Do When He Does

By Marcia Hall

Kids say the darnedest things, right? From mispronouncing words to commenting on a taboo topic in a crowded room, kids have a knack for embarrassing the grownups around them. While older kids sometimes do this for attention or simply to test the waters, one thing is universally true: Your response to their comments can either cause emotional pain or it can help them learn. With that said, here are six of the most common embarrassing topics of conversation and some suggestions on how to manage them.

Asking a person who has a round belly if she is pregnant. This type of comment will usually appear when your child knows someone who is expecting. While not a pleasant thing for any woman to hear if she is not pregnant, it does show that your child is learning and observing his environment. A simple “no” is plenty to say in the moment; later you can later explain to your child that people come in all different shapes and sizes and that it is important to be respectful of the words he uses because he would not want to hurt someone’s feelings.

Comparing breast sizes. Again, yea! for the power of observation your child has. A simple, “why yes her boobs are larger” says quite enough in the moment. Afterwards, though, you might mention that it is inappropriate to discuss the “private parts of a body” in a large group of people. However, it is important to stress to your child that as his parent or close caregiver, he can ask any questions he wants about body parts to YOU. Children need to know they can ask the many questions that routinely pop into their heads to a safe person who will answer truthfully without condemnation.

Needing help in the bathroom. Potty training is tricky. Even once diapers are long gone wiping can be very difficult, and children usually have go at the most inopportune times. In the moment, simply moving in to help the child is the best solution. As you are in the bathroom with him, you can remind him that using the toilet is a private moment that should be kept private. You can suggest that if he feels that he has to poop or will need extra help, he can let you know this before he goes to the bathroom. However, sometimes children are still learning to read their body cues and he will not know until he has started to go. Coming up with a code word that he yells instead of “can you wipe my butt” may be the best answer.

Discussing the difference in skin color.  While most adults know the subtlety of racial politeness, your child likely does not. As the adult next to the child who asks why a friend is “chocolate”, you may feel uncomfortable. However, most people truly understand that children are curious and like to communicate discoveries when they find them. Reply “Yes his skin is darker than yours is. You are very observant.” Then, when in private, you can bring the topic back up and tell him that you are very glad there are people who look different. Remind him that it would be awfully hard to tell people apart if we all looked the same.

Discussing ladies “time of the month.” Children often are very nosey when it comes to their caregiver’s using the bathroom. Women have a hard time “hiding” from their children during that time of the month. Because your child has probably asked questions and you have responded with something as close to the full truth as you can handle, it is likely your child will mention this conversation at a very improper moment. Perhaps you can avert this by also telling your child that you would like to keep these conversations between the two of you. Let him know that is is your private business and you love that he asks you questions about it, but he needs to do so quietly and with respect.

Mispronouncing one word for the other, like penis for peanut. Some words are just harder to say than others. It takes time for little ears to translate what they think they hear for what is actually said. Simply correct the mispronunciation without judgment or bringing attention to the fact that what was really said was hilarious. Laughing will only cause the child to either pronounce it wrong in the future on purpose or feel ashamed that you are laughing at him.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t scold your child or bring attention to the mistake when he says things that are inappropriate in public. Later you can use the situation as a teachable moment and quietly correct or explain how you hope he will adjust his words in the future.