The Life Skills Series: How to Help Your Child Develop Their Communication Skills
Communication is a very important life skill, and it’s one that will help children form friendships and relationships, allow them to express themselves, and help them succeed in the world of work.
Children learn how to interact with others and the world around them naturally and in time, but that’s not to say that you can’t give them a helping hand. Here’s how you can help your child develop their communication skills.
Pay attention to conversational etiquette
When you’re talking to your child, don’t interrupt or talk over them, wait for them to finish speaking. This also goes for if you’re speaking and your child does the same to you. This teaches them the importance of patience and respecting another person’s right to give their opinion or say what’s on their mind.
Be a good role model
Be aware of how you communicate with others, especially in front of your child. If you frequently interrupt people, you’re rude, or you talk over people, your child might think that it’s okay to conduct themselves like that.
Don’t rely on screens too much for entertainment
We’re not saying that TV shows and computer games don’t have their value, in fact, some can be quite educational. But to help your child develop their communication skills, turn off the screens and encourage them to read, play with other children, and do anything else where they get to improve their language skills and use their imagination.
Encourage them to read
Reading books can of course help children understand the concepts of language and storytelling, as well as helping them develop their imagination. You don’t have to read every single word, looking at pictures and asking them to describe what they can see is just as useful for the development of language and communication skills. Reading doesn’t begin and end with books either, encourage them to read anything, from adverts to billboards and street signs.
Ask open-ended questions
This will encourage them to think and communicate more than something that only requires a ‘yes/no’ answer.
Offer praise when they demonstrate good communication
This could be anything from them communicating respectfully, showing good manners, letting another child take a turn during a game, or using a new word or phrase they’ve learned in the right context. Offer praise and it will encourage them to make it a habit.
When it comes to communication, every little thing a child learns can help them grow up to be skilled communicators. Is there anything you do at home to encourage good communication?
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