OWL – Observe, Wait, Listen

When you Observe, Wait and Listen to your child’s messages, you let her start the interaction and lead it! Children are motivated to interact when you’re talking about their interests and they get to lead the interaction.

  • Observe what your child is interested in – it can be helpful to get face to face with your child to see exactly what has captured her attention (e.g., the playdough is stuck inside of the cookie cutter) and to show that you’re interested in what she’s doing.
  • Wait (without talking) for your child to send you a message. Some parents find it helpful to silently count to five before talking.
  • Listen for any way that your child sends you messages (e.g., she might make a sound, say a word and/or show you the cookie cutter).

Excerpted from Early Childhood Language and Literacy Development Articles, Hanen Centre