3 Triggers That Are Hindering My Son’s Language Development and What I am Doing

I have noted with a lot of concern that my son’s language development journey has a number of detriments and I am currently working really hard to iron them out.

You see, having gone through the worrisome journey of wondering whether he is autistic, having him accessed by a SLP, contemplating over paying a regular speech therapist and taking him to school when he was not yet of age, I do not want to fool around with his language emergence path.

So, anytime I find out that something could be a detriment, I have to address it ASAP.

Well, here are some factors that I have found of late:

Too much tv/screen time

Everytime the TV is on and the channel is showing cartoons or some other kids entertainment program, he becomes a complete zombie.

He will not hear anything. He will not eat. He will not realize what is happening in the world. 

At that moment, he is transfixed on the TV. Living in the bubble.

You could knock as many times as you want on the door without his hearing. You could send him to get you something so many times without his response.

No wonder when he was a bit younger, he couldn’t respond to his name while watching Tv. This had me think that he had autism spectrum disorder. Now I know better.


Well, I have decided to do an unkind thing to him. It is for his benefit though. 

So, what am I doing?

Cut out the screens

I have had to change my home wifi password since he would use it to login to Youtube on the TV and binge watch ‘Spongebob Squarepants’, ‘Talking Tom’, ‘Masha and the bear’ and whatever other programs that these little young ones fancy.

So, I just changed the password. Now he only has access to some kids channel that is not too addictive. I think this is one of the wisest decisions I have made this year. 


I was wary of some adult content on these innocent looking Youtube channels when he could not help cursing after watching a certain program. He was like ‘What the hell!’

Other than the swear words, I knew that if I wanted any progress with his language, I had to make some tough decisions.

At the same time, my wife and I have had to change our phone lock security pattern. This deters him from taking them and playing phone games or watching Youtube on the devices.

But what will he be doing now that he has lots of time on his hands after leaving school?

Ride a kids bike that we had bought some 3 years ago.

So when his older sister hit 10 years, a generous aunt bought her a bicycle. 

Yes, the bike is big for his age since he is only six. 

But I want him to get hands on and learn some practical skills that will keep him engaged.

I am currently giving him bike lessons and this creates great daddy-son moments. I reckon.

Engage him in practical things

This include DIY skills such as making a paper airplane, making a car with an empty juice carton and bottle tops.

Avoid staying indoors on weekends

We have this group of young parents in church and I happen to be their lead. Sometimes back, I would just go to church with the kids and then tell them to walk back home to go watch tv as I went out to enjoy a beer with these my church agemates.

Other than the kids being idle binge watching tv all weekend, they would see me as a distant father who spends little time with them.


At the moment, as a group, we have found out that since we all have similar interests, bringing up the kids in church and having them develop well, we could as well do it collectively.

So, after church, we will take them out to have fun, swing, jump on the bouncing castles as we cheer them on. 

It is a really great experience for the kids and I must say that they are enjoying each other’s company as well as socializing in a very fun way.

Multi language home

I do not know why my son picked English as his first language. I suspect it was because in his younger years, he was always on Cocomelon watching Baby Shark and other English songs.

Now the problem is that we use Swahili as our primary languge in the house. We also have another mother tongue. 

I didn’t know it but all these many languages were causing a lot of problems for the boy. He just could not comprehend instructions in Swahili or my mother tongue. 


After realizing this, we have made a pact to use a language that the boy will understand so that he is less confused and he can pick words here and there.