Communication skills are crucial in today’s ever-connected world. Children need to be able to speak clearly and write well in order to succeed and make friends. This blog post will show you ten simple steps that can help your preschooler improve their communication skills in the comfort of your home.
What are Communication Skills?
Communication skills are the verbal and non-verbal means children and adults exchange thoughts, attitudes, and feelings. In other words, communication skills represent the ways in which we make ourselves understood to other people.
The Importance of Communication Skills in Child Development
Communication is a vital skill in all social settings, and when it comes to our relationships with our children, we must nurture healthy communication skills.
A child who does not learn to speak and communicate effectively will not possess the tools needed to get along with kids, parents, teachers, and other adults. The inability to talk appropriately can lead to a lifetime of complications in the classroom, sports teams, and peer group settings.
Learning good communication skills at a young age will help your child develop into an independent thinking, assertive individual who can confidently navigate life’s obstacles.
Ways to Improve Communication Skills
It’s never too early (or too late) to start practicing good communications skills. Here are ten ways you can nurture those skills in your child:
1. Start early
Whether you’re talking about the alphabet, colors, shapes, or numbers, the earlier you start exposing your child to a variety of sounds and words, the more likely he’ll be to follow along. When you begin to notice that your child is beginning to follow one-step directions (like “go get your spoon”), it’s time to start practicing two-step directions (like “go into the kitchen and get your spoon — and drop it into your bowl!”). With practice and lots of repetition, your child will likely learn these simple phrases more quickly than you can say them.
2. Slow down
With so much happening around him, a child’s attention span is often limited. When your child asks a question or makes an observation, ask him to repeat it back to you in his own words. By slowing down and repeating what he’s said, you’re helping him work on his listening skills and communicate more effectively. Before long, he’ll be able to tell you what’s bothering him or ask for a glass of water with no problem.
3. Be a good role model
Kids learn best through examples, so be sure to take the time to calmly voice your thoughts and feelings when dealing with the people around you. They are watching you, and they’ll use what they see to model their behavior.
Avoid yelling, interrupting, or making sarcastic comments. Aim for a calm tone and positive body language — whether you’re talking to your kids, your spouse, or the delivery man. They are more likely to do what you say when they see you showing other people how.
4. Use nonverbal signals
You can’t always talk, but you can certainly look like you’re talking. Make sure that you’re making eye contact, nodding your head, smiling, and taking a specific tone of voice when communicating with your child. Body language such as facial expressions and posture help communicate and reinforce your message.
It is more effective to adopt a positive body posture and tone of voice than negative nonverbal gestures. In this way, you will reinforce your child’s positive behaviors and reinforce their positive body language.
5. Make it a game
Games are an excellent way to teach kids how to communicate while having fun at the same time. Use language games to help your child learn the basics of conversation and develop a good vocabulary.
Questions like “What’s your favorite color?” or “Tell me about your most recent trip to the zoo” can be turned into fun games that build communication skills.
Your child will also have fun asking questions in return for a prize like a special treat, toy, or a small amount of money.
6. Read Books Together
Reading to your child is a great way to build his vocabulary and raise his interest in reading. According to researchers, children who read at home every day are more likely to be better readers in school. Regularly reading together will also show kids the importance of listening and learning from others, which is an essential skill for everyone to develop.
With books, your kids can learn by actively engaging with the characters while developing their vocabulary and language skills.
Reading is a proven way to foster a child’s interest in reading and storytelling. Books also help develop a child’s vocabulary, language skills, and comprehension of cause-and-effect.
Reading to your child can also help you reminisce about your own childhood experiences and explain things to your child. Reading to your child could also help you express yourself better and give you a chance to connect with him on a deeper level.
7. Talk regularly
Just because you’ve finished reciting the ABCs doesn’t mean you should stop talking with your child. Instead, work on simple questions and answers. Ask your child what he had for lunch and how school was, or ask him to tell you about his trip to the park or the most exciting thing that happened over the weekend. These simple questions and statements are great “ice-breaker” chatter that can help build a rapport between you and your child.
By talking regularly with your child, you’ll be able to identify his likes and dislikes and help him develop a good vocabulary. You can also help him discover the products that interest him or are curious about.
8. Practice good listening skills
Even though you can’t always talk, you can still tune in to what your child is saying and make the conversation more interesting for him. When he asks you a question, ask him to tell you more and encourage him to expand on his ideas by asking your questions. This will help to encourage his confidence as he shares his thoughts with you.
Listening skills are also very important in school-related settings and keeping up with daily conversations at home. Listening to what others are saying is an important way of making friends and understanding your children.
9. Involve your child in household chores
Learning household chores at an early age is one of the best ways to help teach your child good communication skills. By showing him how to take care of his things, you set him up for success, independence, and self-confidence later on.
Encourage him by giving him a toy or small objects that he can play with if he cleans his room quietly or cleans up his toys after an afternoon spent outside playing.
10. Use simple words and sentences
When talking with your child, try to avoid complex words and complex sentences. Young children can understand simple language, so the more straightforward you are, the better.
Avoid using complicated words, especially if your child is still learning to talk. Children learn better and faster when they hear language that’s consistent and natural. Even if you’re talking about something complicated, keep your sentences short and precise.
Keep the sentence structure simple, so he knows who is doing what (for example, “The dog eats the food.”). In this way, he will learn about the structure of language as well as what you’re talking about.
Communication skills are one of the most critical skills that a child needs to develop as he learns to grow and fit in with others. Through communication, your child will be able to build on his basic skills, meet new friends, and feel confident and self-assured in any situation.
We at Montessori Academy are with you in your journey. We hope that this article will help you in developing your child’s communication skills. If you have any queries or comments, do let us know. We’d love to hear from you!