Stuttering around the kids

I talked a little about stuttering and children’s books. I’m happy to say that I’m still doing pretty good (read: perfect) on reading children’s books to my kids. And it’s not just the simple stuff like Dr. Suess. It’s longer stuff with a page full of words and a single picture. Got through Rapunzel today without a single stutter which I was pretty happy about.

But overall I’ve noticed that I’ve been stuttering more around the kids in just talking to them. And this is somewhat upsetting. I’m not sure what the cause of this is really. When our first son was born, I never stuttered around him. Not until about a year or two ago (when he was 6/7) did I stumble here and there. Maybe because he’s getting physically bigger? Seeming more like an adult? Does that even make sense? Maybe because he’s passing judgement on some of his classmates or what people out at the mall (or wherever we go) are doing? What, am I afraid he’s going to pass judgement on me? That’s he’s already thinking negative things about me?

All of that being given … isn’t it my job to educate him on this? We’ve never talked really about stuttering — he’s 8 now. I said in passing once, “you know how sometimes it’s hard for me to say stuff …” but I still get “private” when it comes to editing this blog or looking up stuttering articles when he’s around.

There’s a lot online about how a fluent parent can talk to their stuttering children. I need to see if there’s anything that’s the other way round. Is he going to make a reference to Porky Pig that’s going to get me emotionally? Maybe I’m afraid that if we start talking about it, he’ll try to emulate me? He’ll think about it more and that’ll cause problems? That’s totally irrational though.

Last year during our parent-teacher conference, his teacher mentioned how often my son talks about me during class. I think this is true of any parent — they’re the center of their child’s world. I think for fluent people this isn’t a big deal — they understand their role and will just continue doing what they’re doing. As someone who stutters, I’m so hyper-aware of how I’m coming across — to everybody, including my son — that it only makes me more nervous and puts on more pressure to keep up that perfection.

Maybe that’s what’s bothering me as he’s getting older.

Comments

  1. It's whatever says:

    Wow really cool thoughts. Stuttering is so darn notorious for causing self-analytical thoughts. My daughter is about 2 and a half now and I worry most that her speech will be affected by my stutter. In short, I don’t want to cause her to stutter as a result of hearing me :/ Not even sure if that is possible. When she was a baby it wasn’t really an issue because we talked to her in such ridiculous high pitched rhythmic voices I never stuttered, but now as our conversations are becoming more reciprocal I stutter some and I worry. Anyway, I hear ya and I also worry about her looking at me or seeing me in a confused way.

    • My kids are now 20 and 17, but when they were young I too worried about stuttering around them. They didn’t notice early on, but eventually they worked it out – at around 7-8 years old they start asking questions. It doesn’t worry them, they get used to it. They don’t pick it up, I used to worry about that too. They both have their own little idiosyncrasies that their kids will probably ask them about!

  2. Hi, I stutter too, and have just started my blog this week, posted first story. Although I’m fine with stuttering, I have never written about it, and I am encouraged to see others doing the same, will follow your blog, cheers Mark Nolan

%d bloggers like this: