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Minggu, 21 Juli 2013

5 Tips For Developing Communication Skills In Children

To understand the importance of developing communication skills in children, think about the number of people you communicate with over the course of a week. You cannot go to the supermarket or order a birthday cake today without clearly communicating what you need to someone else. You also rely upon communication skills to maintain your friendships and make professional connections that further your career.
Babies are excused from rudeness because they do not have communication skills to effectively tell others what they want or need. Yet, children are expected to interact with others in a more appropriate manner as they get older. Toddlers may understand how to appropriately ask for what they want, but they are still prone to temper tantrums and selfish demands. As they move into later stages of childhood they will be expected to outgrow that behavior and embrace the communication skills they have learned at home.
This places a tremendous amount of pressure on parents to focus on developing communication skills in their children. If you are feeling the pressure, these five tips will help.
1. Role model communication skills in your home.
You probably already talk to your child on a daily basis because you love them and spend a lot of time with them. Teaching communication skills is another reason that you should continue having those regular conversations. Rather than chit-chatting casually, focus on using your best communication skills and encouraging your children to follow suit.
You can teach your children not to interrupt or talk over one another, and that will help them respect other people as they speak to them outside of the home. You can also role model subtle skills like making eye contact to show interest in what another person is saying.
2. Teach your children how to end a conversation as well as how to start one.
So many parents focus on the entry to conversation while neglecting the skills needed to properly exit a conversation. This is why so many children will simply cut a speaker off mid-sentence and run away when they get bored. They were never taught the proper way to excuse themselves in that situation. It is important that children know how to start conversation with others, but they should also have the skills to walk away without being rude or hurtful.
3. Give your children assignments that involve clearly expressing feelings and thoughts.
It is always more difficult to express yourself clearly when you are talking about personal thoughts and emotions. Make a point to ask your children how they feel and what opinions they hold on various subjects. Younger children may benefit from a chart or paper that lists common emotions. They can select from the list when they have trouble putting their emotions into words.
Many people mumble, look at the ground or slur their words together when they are nervous about expressing personal opinions or feelings. Encourage your children to start over and let them know that you could not understand them if they do these things. The goal is to get them comfortable expressing themselves clearly without losing eye contact.
4. Effective communication skill requires acceptance and respect for others. Teach your children to listen!
The ability to let others know what you think and feel is only half of the communication equation. The other half is the contribution that others make to a conversation. Your children need to learn how to completely and openly listen to what others are saying and understand what the other person thinks or feels. A good listener will always have the upper hand in a debate or argument, and listening skills are crucial in personal relationships.
If you feel your child is not fully listening to what you are saying, ask them to repeat what you are saying back to you. If they give you back exactly what you said, ask them, "What do I mean by that?" You can also do exercises with your children where one person says something and the others explain what they heard and what the speaker meant to communicate.
Make sure to tell your children that their emotions and thoughts are their own, and other people are entitled to their own thoughts and emotions. They should own their own thoughts without transferring them to others. For instance, there is a difference between the following sentences: "You made me sad, and I cried." "I cried because our encounter made me sad."
5. Do not eliminate all conflict from your child's life.
Developing communication skills in children must include conflict resolution and problem solving. If you agree with everything your child says or does, how will they react when they meet other people who challenge them or do not agree with them? Let your child encounter disagreements and conflicts, but teach them to handle these encounters effectively. They must know that others will not always agree with them and that they have the power to control a negative social encounter by their responses.
As you work to develop communication skills in your children at home, pay attention to how they use those skills outside of the home. You will have many proud moments when your children interact with others in an effective and appropriate manner.
Carolann Henderson, homeschooling mom, website editor, researcher, student of graphic design, and musician in our family bluegrass gospel band, The Hendersons. You'll find some more homeschooling curriculum reviews, general homeschooling information, free resources, tips and encouragement on my website. I also have a free gift for you that you will find instrumental in getting and staying organized in homeschooling and all areas of your life along with a free ebook to help you homeschool holidays. You can claim your free gifts by visiting my website and signing up for our free newsletter. We look forward to serving you.

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