selective focus photography of child hand

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on

Should we teach children manners? Yes, absolutely! Manners should be taught once children have language. For children who do not have language, their attempts to communicate are for the primary purpose of living, in other words getting their wants and needs met.  By expecting children to use please to request what they want, they are at a disadvantage because they do not have the vocabulary to request specific objects. Thus, communicative partners have the burden of deciding what the child needs or wants. This can lead to frustration and communicative breakdowns if the communicative partner is unable to figure out what the child needs or wants. Imagine a child walking up to their Kindergarten teacher and saying, “Please.” The teacher will have no idea what the child is requesting.

Words associated with manners are abstract (hard to understand) because they are not related to concrete items/objects. Children’s first words are nouns (people, places, things). Let’s teach children these types of words (mom, dad, milk, water, cheese, blocks, bubbles, etc.) so they can make specific requests. Once children are producing multi-word utterances, they also have the cognitive ability to understand manners. For example, when children are using sentences like, ” I want milk,” adding the word “please,” is appropriate. Then expecting them to say, “thank you,” when receiving the desired item is also appropriate.




Picky Eaters?


Did you know children are not born as picky eaters? Eating is very complicated with experiences being shaped from birth, such as breastfeeding versus bottle feeding to when children are exposed to solid foods. Picky eating develops from parents’ eating habits, eating experiences or lack of, lack of skills necessary for eating a variety of foods, and sensory issues. Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) are not commonly known as professionals who can assist with infant feeding issues. However, an SLP with training on healthy mouth development for feeding and speech development and sensory feeding issues may be an important team member in targeting feeding issues.

Watch for Hearing Problems


Did you know children can have an ear infection without ever showing signs or symptoms? How can this happen? Well, there can be fluid on the inner side of tympanic membrane, most commonly known as the ear drum. When this happens, the fluid cannot be viewed by a doctor with an otoscope. It can also not be detected by brief screenings done in a pediatrician’s office. Only a special machine used by an audiologist (hearing specialist) can detect such fluid by indicating the inner ear is not functioning properly. If such ear infections are not detected, they cause a temporary hearing loss until detected. Any time there is a hearing loss, it sounds like you are under water. Multiple or extended episodes of fluid in the ears can cause damage resulting in hearing loss. When the sounds of a language are not heard clearly due to ear infections or hearing loss, it can impact speech and language development. If you know a child who is quiet, not making sounds, he/she may need a hearing assessment and a speech and language assessment.

There can be fluid on the inner side of tympanic membrane, most commonly known as the ear drum.