Top 10 Tips On Improving Your Child’s Communication Skills

September 30, 2013 Published by

Communication skills are paramount for both adults and children but there is more to communication than just learning to talk. Listening, interpreting verbal and non-verbal signals, writing, drawing and increasingly email, text and twitter are all forms of communication. Whilst some children can communicate confidently from an early age, others find it difficult to make themselves understood. Improving this skill and building confidence will be beneficial in later life.

 

Here are some ways you could help support your child’s communicative development:

1. Compliment and praise their vocabulary. If their word order is incorrect or they are not speaking properly, then correct them but do not over correct them. Over correcting, could knock a child’s confidence and this will create a negative association with speaking.

2. Teach active listening. Use facial expressions and body language to show engagement. Manners are a must when communicating and teaching your child to be polite as well as teaching children how to listen to others will make him/her a successful communicator.

3. Repeat words. Repetition of words will reinforce new vocabulary and enhance the ability to communicate effectively.

4. Question your child by reiterating the question to them. Ask them if this is what they mean, by repeating the message of the conversation back to them, “So what you are asking me is do I find my job enjoyable?” This can get irritating and but it helps children learn that what they think they say and what other people here can be two different things

5. Encourage the use of non-verbal communications. Body langauge, gestures and facial expressions will support your child’s communication skills and allows your child to become self expressive.Ensure that your body language is consistent with your words. Don’t fold your arms and look away if you’re telling your child that you’re proud of him/her.

6. Ask open-ended questions, “Tell me about your day”. Children who are asked open questions give more expressive and detailed answers. Closed questions, “did you eat all your school dinner up” can limit a child’s conversational skills as they can only answer “yes” or “no”. Asking a closed  question “did you eat all of your school dinner up” and follow it up with an open-ended questions, “tell me what you enjoyed best about it and what bit your liked least” will allow a child to freely express their opinion and a conversation can develop naturally.

7. Be a good role model. Don’t dumb down your vocabulary in order for children to understand. Use complicated words in context and explain them to your children to improve their vocabulary. Try and limit baby talk as children could copy this immature language which could hinder their speech development.

8. Read, read, read. Read anything and everything; instructions, signs, labels, books, magazines. Reading pictures and discussing them will develop a child’s imagination and expressive skills. When reading to/with your child, try and add a voice to each character as they will be able to distinguish between characters and how they are feeling through your tone of voice.

9.Do not over talk your child. We all know how children can take a while to get to their point, but this is all part of the learning to communicate process and must not be disturbed, so try and let them finish without finishing their sentences for them.

10. Talk to your children. Having regular conversations with your children is important as you can see how they are feeling. Regular chats with limited distractions will enable them to focus on the conversation and improve their communication skills.

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This post was written by Fundamentally Children

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