Easy ways to teach your child to communicate clearly
Use these easy ways to teach your child to communicate clearly, and prepare her for a better quality of life. By now, you know how important effective communication is. Your child starts to communicate at a very early age. Even before birth, she listens to your voice and the rhythm of your language. Shortly after birth, she makes eye contact, and soon she communicates by crying or cooing and laughing. With this, she is already starting to use verbal and non-verbal communication. And she is watching you and learning. Once again, you are her role model. Start to teach her how to interact with others as early as possible. Fortunately, it is a skill that she can learn.
The benefits of good communication skills for your child
There are several benefits to having good communication skills. The following are some examples.
She can express needs and feelings clearly
Your child will learn more effectively
It will boost her social relationships
She may be less prone to behavioral problems
So, how do you know which skills she needs? Let us investigate.
Which type of skills should your child learn?
There are three essential skills that we use in our interactions:
Verbal skills refer to speaking. Your child must be able to talk correctly to convey a clear message.
Non-verbal skills are the way that we use our bodies in conversations. It includes gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact.
Visual skills are the ability to communicate through reading and writing. Visual communication is of the essence for your child in school and as an adult.
So, let’s get to ways to teach your child to speak clearly.
Easy ways to teach your child to communicate clearly
Talk with your child
It would help if you talked to your child as much as possible. You can even start before her birth. Each language has its rhythm, and she already picks it up in the womb. Talk all the time. Discuss her day and yours, her friends, a TV show, and something interesting that she heard or read. Talk when you prep a meal, ride in the car, buy groceries, or take a walk.
And introduce her to unfamiliar words and concepts. Model the use of new phrases and ask questions that challenge her to think on her feet. Always ask what she thinks before you provide an answer or solution. Do not forget the delight of jokes.
Listen actively and teach your child to communicate clearly
The importance of active listening cannot be overstated. Give your child your full attention. It means that you must face your child and make eye contact. Kneel, and if necessary, lean closer and tilt your head. Pay attention and repeat what she says. Then ask questions to show her that you are involved and hear her. Remember that you are there to model these skills for her to learn. And active listening improves the relationship with your child.
Make your child aware of body language.
Body language tells us what is not being said. It would help if you taught your child to see the clues. Say that you feel disrespected when she rolls her eyes at you. Or tell her to look you in the eye when you talk. And explain the meaning of folded arms, raised eyebrows, smiling, tilted heads, or hand gestures. You can play a game and let her guess how you feel. Watch a movie or video together and ask her to read the characters’ body language. Also, explain to her what you see and how you feel when you read her non-verbal clues.
Readtogether to teach your child to communicate clearly
Reading together is one of the most valuable activities you can share with your child. You can address any issue with a well-chosen book. But it is also an enjoyable way to learn the language and gain thinking and problem-solving skills. By discussing a book, your child can learn how to express her ideas clearly or manage a conflict situation. Ask questions to make her think about the better ways to express feelings and thoughts. Read together as often and as widely as possible. And do not forget about rhymes and songs.
Teach her a feeling vocabulary
Feelings are a massive part of all our interactions. Using words like sad, bad, or angry is not enough to express the finer nuances of feelings. When your child struggles with a difficult task, she may not be mad but rather frustrated. Use better words to describe your own and her feelings. When your child says that she is angry because she is struggling, you can reply that you can see that she is frustrated. Talk about feelings when you read, what TV or videos, or discuss her day at school. Tell her how you feel in challenging situations. She will accept that feelings are expected when you talk about feelings often. She will also be able to express her feelings clearly.
Teach your child to communicate clearly by playing games
Playing games is fun to learn about verbal, non-verbal, and visual communication. And there are many opportunities to play easy games wherever you go. Always choose a game that is age-appropriate for your child. Let us look at a few games.
Games to express emotions
The games aim to teach your child an excellent emotional vocabulary that will enable her to express her feelings clearly. And she will be more aware of her own and of others’ feelings. It will teach her to show empathy towards others.
Teach your child to communicate clearly through pretend play
Play is an integral part of childhood. Your child uses it to act out daily situations in safety. Your child shares a lot through play. A small child may still lack the verbal skills to explain problems but can reveal much through play. Use a puppet to play with your child and teach her various skills by linking feelings and behavior. For an older child, you can use roleplay without a tool.
It is not a naughty corner. The feeling corner serves as a way for children to think about and identify their feelings; therefore, there must be assistive aids available. Have books, puppets, paper and pencils, and emotion cards available to help your child. There are complex emotion wheels available at https://humansystems.co/emotionwheels/. For younger children, a simple emoji card will be enough. You can download emotional flashcards at https://mockeri.com/emotions-flash-cards/. It is printable and handy to help your child. Sit with her, discuss her feelings, and help her express how she feels. Also, ask her what she can do to feel better. Teaching emotional proficiency will benefit her greatly.
In the game, you use scenarios that will provoke an emotional response in your child. You can start with more straightforward situations like forgetting your lunch and then continue to more challenging problems. Let your child express her feelings or use her flashcards or emotion wheel.
You must have old magazines, scissors, a board, and glue for this activity. You can encourage your child to cut out feeling images to paste on her board. Let her explain what the photos mean to her. Then put the board in a prominent place where she can quickly revisit it.
Picture telling will help you teach your child to communicate clearly
Show a picture with people to your child. Then ask her to tell you what the people are doing and how they feel. You can ask questions to help her. This activity promotes expressive language and storytelling.
The most significant part of communication consists of non-verbal communication. The games will help your child become more aware and adept at reading non-verbal clues.
Follow the leader
For this game, you will need two participants. One will be the leader, and the other child must follow and mirror the facial expressions and gestures of the leader. After a minute or two, they change roles. This game requires the follower to be highly aware of the leader’s body language.
You can write down a shortlist of non-verbal behaviors like nodding, smiling, crossing arms, frowning, yawning, rubbing temples, looking at your watch, or turning your back. Then let your child tell a short story to the one exhibiting the behaviors. Ask your child to explain how the behaviors made her feel. The game will not only raise her awareness of body language but also of its effect on people.
Mime a pictureand teach your child to communicate clearly
In this game, you must choose a topic and find a pack of pictures that relate to the topic. Your child then draws an image from the collection, and she must act out what is on the picture without using any words. The game will teach her the power of nonverbal communication.
Active listening is a skill that you can teach to your child. The games introduce your child to listening actively but also to acting appropriately.
You need more than one child that gathers in a circle for this game. Start by whispering a word in the ear of the child next to you. She must whisper the word in the ear of the next child. The last child can say the word out loud. You can also use longer phrases and sentences.
Shared storytelling will teach your child to communicate clearly
It is a fun game for all ages. You start the story with a sentence. Let your child add the following sentence to the story. Take turns to add to the story based on what the previous one said. This game requires active listening and thinking on your feet.
My favorite TV-show
Tell your child about your favorite show or movie. You can briefly describe the story and explain why you like it. Then let her tell you what she heard and remembered. And now change sides. The game is a good exercise for active listening, memory, and paraphrasing.
Teach your child to communicate clearly
In this game, you ask your child to give directions to a nearby favorite park or shop. And help her to write it down. Then go with her on the journey and follow her directions to the destination. Along the way, you can discuss ways to improve directions where necessary. The game helps with clarity of communication.
Part of good communication is to give the other person a turn to speak. In this game, you can use a talking stick or a ball. When you have the ball or stick, you are allowed to speak. The other person must listen and cannot interrupt. Use this method in any situation where it is needed.
For this game, you will need a set of 5 or 6 pictures. Let your child arrange the images in order and then tell a story. Ask her what would happen if the order of the pictures changed. You can also provide only one photo and ask her to describe what she sees there. Let her talk about the setting, people, feelings, colors, and other elements. It promotes awareness and descriptive and creative language.
Impromptu discourseswill teach your child to communicate clearly
You can play this game anywhere. Choose an age-appropriate and exciting topic and ask your child to discuss it. A few sentences are enough. Now let her choose a topic for you. Use the time to model the best ways to communicate. The game helps your child to think on her feet. And remember, it is a game, not a test.
One person can think of a well-known person or an object in this game. The other person can ask 20 questions to find the information that will enable her to guess who or what the other is thinking. The answers may only be yes or no. The game teaches your child to think carefully about what she needs to know.
You must create an obstacle course in a safe area. Use everyday items that you find in the house. Let your child blindfold you and then communicate how to navigate the obstacle course. Take turns. This fun game can also build trust between you and your child.
Explain what to draw
Sit back to back with your child. She has an object of her choice. You have a pencil and paper. You must draw the thing that she has. Let her describe what you must draw without telling you what the object is. It is an excellent way of learning to communicate clearly and listen actively. Then take turns in the activity.
Assertiveness refers to a healthy way of expressing your needs. You must be honest and respectful. It can cause discomfort but is a critical communication skill.
Use roleplayto teach your child to communicate clearly
The use of roleplay is one of the most powerful ways to teach your child to communicate clearly. Explain the difference between aggressive, passive, and assertive styles of communication. Then you can use real-life scenarios to role play. Roleplay confirms the situation. And it serves to practice good communication skills.
Make a fist
You need two children for this exercise. The first child must make a fist. The instruction is not to open her fist unless the other child asks politely and assertively. The second child is instructed to get that fist open. Most children will try to pry the hand open and wrestle to succeed. Talk to her about more ways to get the fist open. It is an excellent game to explain the value of healthy communication.
Good communication skills will serve your child well in all areas of life. There are numerous opportunities and ways to teach your child to communicate clearly. Use them daily. Let your child practice her skills as often as possible, and you will raise a successful communicator.
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