Mistakes That Parents Make When Children Mispronounce Words

Mistakes That Parents Make When Children Mispronounce Words

Last update: 07 September, 2018

This article will show you what not do to when children mispronounce words, and how to help them the right way.

When children mispronounce words, for whatever reason, we must approach the situation with the intention of helping them develop language skills correctly.

The goal is for their oral expression to be clear, correct and easy to understand. This is not only important for children in the short term, but also for the rest of their life. If these mistakes aren’t corrected in time, they could be harmful in the future.

The importance of parental guidance

Teaching a language and all of its nuances is not only the school’s responsibility. As parents, we are also responsible and have the duty to actively collaborate with our children in all areas including language development.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that just because children mispronounce words doesn’t mean they’re bad at school or have some sort of mental incapacity. In some cases, parents tend to take the situation out of context.

As a parent, you can participate in your child’s learning process in many simple ways. You can begin by encouraging and fostering a love for reading, singing songs or telling stories aloud.

Although these may seem like simple methods, they’re actually very effective when it comes to developing language and accompanying our children.

Mistakes That Parents Make When Children Mispronounce Words

What you should NOT do when children mispronounce words

Not knowing how to act as a parent when your children mispronounce words can hinder their development. Here are the most common mistakes that parents make:

  1. Making the mispronounced word a habit. When children are learning how to speak, there are certain words that they won’t be able to pronounce due to their lack of lingual coordination. As funny as it may sound, as a parent you must correct the word in order to prevent it from becoming a habit.
  2. Using diminutives. Although you may express affection when your children mispronounce words, trying to communicate with them using diminutives will only delay their development and expressiveness.
  3. Excluding articles and prepositions. This will not only create confusion, it will also affect the child’s grammar.
  4. Not speaking face to face. Spoken language is nourished by facial expressions which denote feelings and emotions. Children learn by example. While talking to them, you should get down to their eye level. This will allow them to learn the best way to pronounce words.
  5. Substituting real words for made-up words. The language you use to communicate with your child must be understandable; you should call each object, animal, or part by its real name.

What you SHOULD do to help your child

Leading by example is very important. Remember that you have to set a good example in order to help your children learn how to express themselves properly. Here are a few tips:

Daily conversations

Try to have a conversation with your child every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Strive to create a healthy environment where your children feel comfortable enough to express themselves.

A healthy environment will also help you correct them in a clear and constructive way. This way, you’ll save your children the embarrassment and possible trauma of making mistakes.

Mistakes That Parents Make When Children Mispronounce Words


If your children have trouble pronouncing a certain word, come down to their eye level and pronounce the word slowly so they can learn to copy the sounds and the movement of your tongue and mouth.

In addition to your gestures, you can also ask them to repeat the word two or three times.

Ask for professional advice

If you believe your child’s mispronunciation is caused by a physical impediment, you’ll have to seek professional help. The professional will be able to advise you on how to act and the possible solutions available.

Mispronunciation may be caused by the frenulum. If this is your case, your child may need to perform articulation exercises or use a special device.

Dedicate time

When children mispronounce words, don’t ignore it. Correct their mistakes in a clear and concise way at their eye level. Remember that you’re there to help them, not to punish them.

As a parent, you may make certain mistakes unconsciously such as laughing when you hear your child mispronounce a word. This is completely normal, however, try to avoid it if you really want to help your child.

Daily effort and confidence will help you achieve your objective in the best way possible. Good luck!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.