"Don't tell me to slow down." This was the clever slogan chosen by the National Stuttering Association for a series of 5k races, raising funds for the organization. fundraising events - 5k races.
I think when we're talking to people who stutter, especially our own children, we feel uneasy and think we should say something. We pull-out whatever we think would be helpful to them. One of the common ones that's gotten into our minds is "if they would just slow down", "if they would just think about what they have to say and prepare it", "if they would just take a deep breath, and just relax." But if we would think about this advice try practicing it ourselves, we would realize how tedious and effortful it is; because it's hard to communicate freely and communicate effectively while simultaneously do all those things.
If we want to help people who stutter especially our kids, then the first thing we should do is say less and listen more - turning-up our active listening. Active listening is all about being present and really listening to what they have to say more than how they say it.
If we want to help them with mechanics, we should say less and do more. Instead of telling them to do something, we can show them and model it ourselves in our speech communication. There's something called mirror neurons, and whatever we do is mirrored by the other person in the conversation. So, if we speak quickly we influence their rate of speech. If we're anxious we're going to raise their anxiety. On the other hand, if we consider the impact of this rule of nature, we can use it to our advantage, for the good!
TIP #1: ONLY say things, you would WANT TO hear.
TIP #2: ONLY suggest doing things you WOULD do yourself.
TIP #3: model the behavior you wish to see from others
Give these tips a try.
They'll probably be more helpful than telling your kids to slow down.