Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Being able to interact effectively is possibly the most prominent of all life skills. It enables us to pass information to other people and to understand what is being said to us. Communication is the act of sending information from one place to another. It may be vocally, written, visually, or non-verbally. In practice, it is mostly a combination of several of these.
Kids, as they start growing, start learning how to interact with their classmates and make friends. Many children need help with making conversation, and they also need adult’s help to learn how to communicate their thoughts and feelings better. Conversation skills are essential for children’s development and wellbeing. That is because converse helps them make friends, be listened to, ask for what they need, and develop strong bonds and relationships with others. Conversation skills are just not about being able to talk but also being able to listen well. Hearing what the other person has to say is an important part of conversation skills.
Here are few ways to improve your child’s conversation skills:
Converse regularly with your child: Encourage your child to begin or join in conversations you hold as often as possible. This will help the child to feel more comfortable in opening up with you and around you. During car rides and dinner, talk about things they like and make sure they are interested in talking to you. Demonstrate various ways on how to make conversations relevant to what is happening in your child’s life. Introduce new words and concepts and methods to talk all the time. Talk exactly how you want your child to converse.
Use kind words: Kind words create a good relationship and better communication with your child. Children who are spoken with appreciation and respect have better self-worth, which allows them to be more confident and have better conversation skills. Thank your child if they help you anytime and use kind words around them. Being positive is the bridge to build a good and honest relationship.
Listen to your child: One of the most important parts of conversation skills is listening. Listening to and expanding upon what the other person has said. After your child speaks, always follow up with a positive remark or a question if necessary. Make sure you pay close attention to what they speak. You can use these little quirks and add them to your next conversation. It makes the child feel comfortable talking to you. If you remember the little things they say, they feel ecstatic.
Point out body language: Kids who struggle with communication may not always pick up on other kids’ non-verbal cues such as body language. Body language is non-verbal communication that includes our posture, gestures, and the movements we make. It is just as essential as verbal communication. No matter how engaging or interesting the conversation is, if the speakers or listeners are giving off negative body language, the other party is less likely to listen to what they are saying. Teach your kids healthy and unhealthy body language. Make them understand what each body language means.
Start fun conversations with your child: It can get difficult to come with something fun to talk about after a long tiring day. Keep your child’s hobbies or any other fun conversation starter in mind. You can ask them questions and make it playful by adding funny little comments and make them feel needed. Kids love it if you can hold a fun conversation with them. They have a lot going on in their mind, so you never know what might come up. Make sure to give your child the needed time they need to open up to you.
Read with your child: Reading is as important as conversing. Read your child his favorite bedtime story or buy him books that will help him grow his vocabulary and hold a conversation with others. Take turns reading to one another. After finishing a show or a book together, discuss what they have learned. This will help you know how attentive they are.
Ask your children their opinion: Communication requires kids to reflect on how they are feeling. Ask your child, to weigh in on breakfast table or dinner time conversations. The conversation could be as simple as how your day was or what you did in school or had fun, and so on. Use I think, and I feel statements so that the child feels that conversation needs to be voiced with kind words.
Encourage your child to keep a journal: Few kids feel it easy to talk to others after jotted it down. Maintaining a journal is an excellent habit. Writing in a journal about day-to-day activities and feelings might keep them in check with reality and how they are feeling. This ultimately makes your child feel more prepared and confident when someone asks what has been going on.
Children need a quiet and positive environment than adults to learn and listen in. Every parent should ensure a healthy house environment for the child to learn to converse in.
Help your child develop conversation skills by talking to your partner, friends, and children in the way you would like your kid to converse with others. Some children pick up conversation skills quicker, while some need proper guidance, patience, prompts, reminders and practice.
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