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How to Boost Your Child's Communication Skills

How to Boost Your Child's Communication Skills

Why is boosting communication skills in children important? Communication begins before birth. Mothers and fathers sing and talk to their infants even while inside the womb, in an attempt to communicate with them. Babies in turn may kick or wiggle about in response. Upon exiting the womb, babies greet the world by loudly crying and we mostly interpret this as a sign of life. Communication will remain present throughout one’s life.

Preschool Stage: Nurturing Cognitive Development

Why is communication important to children’s learning? Here are some reasons:

Relationships

Communication aids us in building connections and relationships with one another. Close connections can establish trust, and make our children more comfortable.

Language is necessary to learn

Communication and language are the tools teachers use to teach our children. It is difficult to learn key concepts and ideas without the ability to listen, understand, and talk.

Children with speech and language difficulties find themselves needing to exert more effort to learn certain concepts and tasks compared to other children.

Why is communication important to children’s learning? Difficulties in talking, listening, and reading can result in problems with comprehension.

Behavioral problems

Children with behavioral problems may have unidentified and unaddressed communication issues. These behavioral problems may result in a lack of interest to learn or may be detrimental to your child’s learning.

Friendships are important

In a school setting, friendships are important for children. These relationships help engage the child in learning. Children with problems in communication find it harder to build and foster friendships.

Poor communication skills affect self-esteem and confidence

Children with poor communication skills can have a lower sense of confidence or self-esteem as they may find difficulty in expressing themselves. This can lead to decreased interest in learning.

How to Homeschool a Preschooler: Tips for Parents

How to Boost Your Child’s Communication Skills

Communication is an essential building block for your child’s development.

Here are some tips on how to boost your child’s communication skills:

Regularly converse with your child

If your child has trouble communicating, they may not want to talk at all. If your child is experiencing difficulties in expressing themself, it is up to the parents to positively encourage talking.

Allow your child to start conversations, or engage them in conversation with you until they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts. Find spaces of conversation in your daily activities with your child. You can try asking what their favorite color is or what food they would like to eat. Try to make the conversation relevant to your child’s life experiences.

Regular conversation also allows you to introduce new words and concepts to the child. This can increase your child’s vocabulary and help in self-expression.

Ask how their day went

When your child gets home from school, ask how their day went. Encourage your child to describe and detail what happened to them in school. Besides helping you and your child bond, this also helps your child in two key skills: recall and sequencing. Kids with communication issues sometimes struggle with these two skills.

Listen to your child

As a parent, you have to lead by example. When your child tells you something, actively listen to what they are saying. After your child tells you something, repeat it and try to build upon the idea.

For example, if your child tells you that their favorite color is blue, you can respond by saying, “Your favorite color is blue? That’s my favorite color, too. What about blue do you like?” These interactions give your child a place to practice listening and reflecting when someone speaks with them.

Role-play

Your child might find certain scenarios or situations stressful and this may make it harder for them to communicate. A certain teacher or classmate, for example, can make your child nervous and tongue-tied. You may help your child get over the hurdle by role-playing. You can role-play as either character so your child can practice things they may want to say in a scenario with that person.

Body language is also important

Nonverbal cues are also a big part of communication. Kids with communication issues may find it harder to pick up on these cues. As a parent, you can help describe certain actions and explain the reason behind them. Sentences such as “I’m covering my face because I’m shy” or “I’m waving my fists because I’m angry” can help your child pick up on nonverbal cues.

Read together

One of the ways to help in boosting communication skills in children is to read with them. This encourages your child to increase their grasp of listening, reading, and talking. These are all key skills for communication. Don’t worry if your child keeps picking the same material to read. This allows your child to have a better grasp of the material as well.

Ask for their opinion

Reflecting on how one feels is an important part of communication. Asking your child about their opinion on a matter cultivates the practice of self-reflection. Ask your kid questions such as “Would this taste better with or without salt,” or “Do you like dogs or cats more?”

Promote journaling

Some kids need to process their thoughts and emotions before they can express them to other people. The practice of journaling or writing in a diary can help in sorting out these thoughts and feelings for your child. This can also make them feel more confident in expressing these ideas to other people.

When to See a Doctor

You can consult a doctor if you feel that your child has issues with hearing, language skills, or speech clarity. While some kids eventually outgrow these issues, others may need more focused help like speech therapy to work through their issues.

Key Takeaways

It is important to be supportive and encourage your child to express themselves and build their confidence. When it comes to boosting communication skills in children, offer a safe space and engage them in conversations to help them further build on their communication skills. Should it become a concern, consult a professional.

Learn about Parenting here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Communication and Your 4-to-5 Year Old, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/comm-4-to-5.html Accessed April 29, 2020

10 Ways to Improve Your Grade Schooler’s Communication Skills, https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/communication-disorders/10-ways-to-improve-your-grade-schoolers-c ommunication-skills  Accessed April 29, 2020

Why Communication is Important, https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/media/2147/all_together_now_-_section_2.pdf Accessed April 29, 2020

How to Support Your Child’s Communication Skills, https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/302-how-to-support-your-child-s-communication-skills Accessed April 29, 2020

The Importance of Communication Skills in Young Children, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED574738.pdf Accessed April 29, 2020

 

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Written by Sky Abundo Updated Aug 24, 2020
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.
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