Expressions are widely considered to be a form of art. All of us seem to have our own ways to excel in this form of art and manifest our thoughts and feelings into explicable ventures.
Reading and writing are two facets that are extremely important to the overall growth of a child, but what is not emphasized enough is the need to teach children the value of good communication.
Effective communication is a lifelong beneficial skill, not only for literary success but also for personality growth and confidence. It is not necessarily what your child speaks, but how your child speaks and the set of words he uses makes a tremendous difference from an early age.
A lot of children have major trouble putting their ideas into formidable sentences and with the everlasting fear of judgement, they fail to speak well. In today’s day and age, there is a great need for children to be well-equipped with a set of oral language skills.
Most parents want to teach their children a lot of extravagant things, but in that attempt, somewhere, the basic requirement of teaching children communication skills gets lost. Parents must teach their children to talk with a sense of politeness, confidence and fluency.
This may not seem like a glaring problem, but those with a communication and child development background would know. Without suitable communication skills, your life will be harder. Good communication skills allow children to be more friendly and make fruitful relationships. Parents nurture their children for better viability.
Why Are Communication Skills Critical in Child Development?
Let’s highlight some of the reasons as to why communication skills are significant in child development:
- Effective communication skills bestow children the confidence to express themselves freely and convey their emotions in a better way.
- Children thrive in a meaningful exchange of information and learning if they possess good communication skills.
- Good communication skills give you a different persona and an aura that allows you to make sound relationships and improve social interaction.
- If you’re able to communicate well verbally, then the chances are high that you will be more comfortable in written communications as well, which will also lead to better academic performance, and can also lead to new .
- Children with low self-esteem and communication problems are likely to develop behavioural disorders like depression and social withdrawal.
Ways to Encourage Effective Communication Skills
Facilitate learning and effective communication to your children in the following ways:
1. Be a Regular Talker
The first and foremost element of teaching your child effective communication skills is to initiate conversations to encourage them to feel comfortable around you.
Children who have trouble communicating very rarely start conversing on their own. Ask them how their day went at the school, chat with them during car rides and TV commercials and discuss what feels relevant to them. Understanding their thought process is an integral part of this phenomenon.
Also, always introduce new ideas and phrases to start conversations.
2. Create the Right Speaking and Listening Environment
Adults might be okay with an emphatic environment, but that’s not the case with children. They need a quiet environment where they feel secure and comfortable enough to speak about their feelings and what is going on in their minds.
Try to speak to your child at a time and place where there is minimal background noise so that the entire focus is on the conversation. It is important for children to feel genuinely heard so that they don’t feel that they are exhausting themselves by communicating plainly.
3. Listen Patiently and Reflect on What Your Child Says
It is one of the most important conversation skills. The world lacks good listeners and you need to be one. Listen very intently what your child has to say and ask follow-up questions.
If they are telling you about a school project, ask them how they plan to make the project come to life, give them ideas and ask what resources, or they would need to create it.
4. Body Language
This could be hard for children to understand as picking up non-verbal cues is a bit tricky. However, body language is very important while communicating. Portray good and bad gestures to your children.
Let them know that rubbing your eyes while speaking, or even listening is a derogatory gesture and it implies that you are not interested enough. On the other hand, using your hands and facial expressions is a depiction of your involvement in the conversation.
5. Picture Storytelling
We all love stories and picture storytelling is quite a fun activity to engage your children in learning communication skills. Provide a set of pictures to your child and ask them to arrange it in a logical sequence and create a story out of them.
Encourage them to talk about what they perceive from the pictures, their colours and other various details.
6. Emotional Charades
This is another non-verbal communication activity to help children understand different facial expressions, signals, body posture when communicating. Provide your child with various cards that have different emotional expressions such as angry, sad, confused, etc. and have them act out the expression on each card.
Children can also create expressions based on their situations.
7. Teach Empathy
Empathy is a beautiful trait. When you teach your kid communication skills, they need to develop a sense of . Children must know that the world exists outside their viewpoint too and they should be ready to listen to what others have to say.
This helps them become better listeners and also speak more respectfully.
8. Encourage Introspection
This is a little difficult skill to master, but still very important. A lot of the times we continually speak without knowing the roots of thoughts. Children need to understand where their thoughts and feelings are coming from and whether they are right or rooted in some kind of bias and prejudice. Understanding yourself is an important element for speaking well.
9. Teach Respectful Vocabulary
Anger is man’s biggest enemy and it ruins everything. It is natural for children to feel angry and have heated conversations. Parents must teach their children respectful alternatives for such conversations and remind them that anger often makes things worse.
Calling someone stupid may have an adverse effect than saying I don’t quite agree with you. Moreover, there are a lot of cultural terms that are used in a derogatory manner for a particular set of people, community or society.
Children may never get to know the origin of such terms. Therefore, it is the responsibility of parents to make their children aware of such terms.
10. Encourage Journaling
Some children need to find a sense of clarity within their minds before communicating their thoughts. Having a diary in which a child can write their day-to-day activities and feelings can be very fruitful and help in letting out their emotions automatically.
This could also help them feel more confident and prepared before approaching someone to have verbal communication.
So, what are the ways that you are going to pick up to teach your child effective communication skills? Do you have your own activities? Let us know in the comment section below.