The Gift of Listening

Kids talk more when we listen to them.
— Dr. Phil Schneider

All of us want to raise confident kids.

The kids who will grow-up to be secure adults, with healthy relationships and meaningful lives.

It starts EARLY and it's FREE.

We can teach our kids how much they matter, when we listen to what they say. We don't have to agree, and we don't have to meet their demands - but when we turn to kids to listen to their words, we send them a powerful message. We show them how much they matter, and how much we value their communication with us. If we do this, we can "keep kids talking" and we can plant values of self-esteem and self-expression.

These values, planted early and often, can spring into big kids, and young adults with self-worth. So they know that stutter or no stutter, they are intrinsically worthwhile. The world will listen to what they have to say and value it. We do that by showing them that WE listen and WE care and value what they say. This will build their self-esteem and their courage.

Two principles:

1- Good listening is good loving. We hear them and acknowledge that we WANT to hear what they have to say.

2- We need to work on honoring the essence of the message our children are putting out to us. Stuttering is the surface. Beneath that, they want to connect to us and share their experiences with us. We need to honor that so they always feel comfortable speaking with us.

Click below to listen to the podcast - with Peter Reitzes of


Check out our Instagram @schneiderspeech for more!


Get Playful for Learning Success

You can’t learn to swim if you’re scared of the water.
Once you’re comfortable getting wet, you’re ready to learn.
— Uri Schneider

How do we foster learning and growth? We need the right balance of "pressure" with "safety."
Only as we explore new territory, outside the familiar comfortable routines, we find opportunities to learn and grow.
As we confront challenges, engage in problem solving the puzzles, we are forced to dig deeper. As we are pressed past the boundaries of the familiar, we discover the world of learning.

But we need to feel safe enough to explore. And that makes all the difference.

If it's just PRESSURE, then we are too pressed and unable to really learn more than spit-back.

Check out our Instagram @SchneiderSpeech for more great content!


'Security blankets' for children's speech therapy


Depending on the child's age, there are security blankets to consider - before and upon arriving at therapy. Here’s our list of things we think you should consider:

  • Bring a snack (ask therapist if this is "ok," ahead of time!)

  • Bring a familiar book

  • Bring a favorite toy or game

  • Tell the child "the therapist is NOT a doctor" (i.e. no shots)

  • Assure the child they will not be left alone in the room without parent (discuss ahead of time with therapist)

  • Ask the therapist what the child (and parent!) should expect during the appointment, and relay that to your child

  • Prepare some notes to inform the therapist of your child's interests, hobbies, accomplishments

  • Prepare the child to answer basic questions - and if the child may be reluctant, make a plan with the child how they would like to handle the situation


Remember: COMFORT IS KEY to a successful visit!


25 ways to ask your kids "how was school today?"

how to get more out of your kids

The school day is a vulnerable one. As parents, we look forward/hope/worry for our kids to be in a “good place” with educators who care about our kids, and ensure our kids are (1) safe and (2) learning.

As parents we want our kids to tell us more.
As kids, they can frustrate us with their one-word responses.

In the morning, we hand-them off, putting our precious kiddos in the care of others. And at the end of the day we want to catch-up, hear about their day, make sure they’re “OK” - and also make sure "“we are OK” with the arrangements so we can bring them to school tomorrow with the most comfort and ease.

(Til tomorrow, when we start “wondering” all over again… Repeat…)


  1. Use close ended questions more than open-ended questions.

    Closed ended: What was one thing you liked today?

    Open ended: Tell me all about your teachers? Classes? Friends?

  2. Make it fun and curious more than interrogation style machine-gun questioning.

    I wonder who did something kind today? or I wonder who had the best lunch today?

    As opposed to: Did you get any homework? What did you get on your math test —- English test —-science test? Did your art teacher say anything about your painting? Did that boy bother you again?

  3. Choose the time and place to inquire, typically sometime after the moment they get off the bus.

    Think about giving kids time to decompress, unwind and even “veg-out.” After . along day, they might be as wiped as we feel after a long day at work. We might be better of having a chat after some quiet time, a snack, and some soothing activity…

    Bed time, bath time and dinner time are all good times to consider for having a chat about the day.

Make it FUN and PLEASANT!

We were inspired with ideas from a recent article in Huffington Post.

  • Where is the coolest place at the school?

  • If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?

  • If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?

  • If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?

Click here for the original article.


Think these could work for your kids? Try it out and let us know how it goes!