Communication skills for children are the ability to communicate effectively with others. It is one of the most . It doesn’t just include the ability to verbalise their thoughts and desires but also involves learning how to listen, understand and communicate non-verbally through their body language.
Effective communication skills for children are especially important during the preschool years. During these formative years, young children learn to understand and use language. If they don’t master these skills, they may struggle later in life. A lack of communication skills will hinder your child or learner from mastering other life skills.
Communication milestones for children are important because they set the stage for how children interact with others throughout their lives. It determines, for example, how they handle their first errand, a disagreement with their peers, and whether they ace their school presentations.
It is important that children develop communication skills in early childhood. Your child’s communication milestones should include learning how to speak, read, write, and listen. These milestones are critical in developing your child’s ability to communicate effectively. Your 4-year-old should be able to communicate in clear and complete sentences, tell stories and recount stories they have read. Your 5-year-old is further along the communication spectrum and should be able to form complex sentences with more than five words and understand the concept of past, present and future.
There are many ways to teach these skills to your child. We’ve compiled some strategies here that can help your little one become a more confident communicator:
Building effective communication
1. Be a good role model
By watching how adults communicate, children can pick up on the basics of good conversation. So, it’s important to expose them to such techniques early on so that they can become respectful communicators later on. This includes being patient, giving them your full attention, listening actively and appreciating what they have to say. You make them feel that their opinions matters and that they have a safe space to express what they feel. In turn, they also learn how to give their peers the same respect when engaging in conversation in school.
2. Having frequent conversations with your child
One of the easiest methods of teaching your child how to communicate is by simply having conversations with your child. Talk to your child frequently – ask them about their day, their newest interests, their favourite television show or the things you observe on the street when walking with them. In this way, you’re not just exposing them to new words and sentence structures, which helps them to expand their vocabulary, but you’re introducing them to concepts, ideas and knowledge about the world around them. You can also teach them how to notice, express and manage their emotions, especially when these feelings are intense. By giving our kids plenty of opportunities to practice speaking, we hope to prepare them for real-life conversations.
3. Teach them how to listen
A large part of having a conversation is also listening to what the other person has to say and responding appropriately. Get your child used to the back-and-forth nature of conversations. One way to do this is to constantly practise this when speaking to your child. Listen carefully to what your child says, summarising what they’ve said before asking a follow-up question. Also actively teach your child how to do this by asking them to ask you a question, in turn, each time they respond. We also listen carefully to what they say and correct any mistakes.
4. Encourage them to keep a journal
Journaling is a great tool for kids to express themselves creatively. By encouraging your child to write down his thoughts and feelings, he’ll gain valuable insight into himself and others. He’ll also learn to organise his thoughts, feelings and ideas and put them into coherent sentences.
It’s also important to note that each child is different; some have more outgoing dispositions, while some may be more reserved. Some children may readily share their thoughts and ask questions and others might need more coaxing to open up. The added benefit of journaling is that it gives shy children an outlet to express themselves. They can prepare beforehand what they want to say, which makes them feel more confident about sharing their thoughts. This makes sharing a positive experience instead of something that causes anxiety or distress.
Teach your child to become a skilled communicator with MindChamps
MindChamps Académie of Stars is a premier performing arts school that focuses on developing children in the art of performing and building confidence. By adopting the MindChamps practice of 100% Respect and Zero Fear™, your child will be moulded into a confident communicator who can express themselves.
Our Champion Communication programme is a public speaking course for kids that teaches students the 7 Cs for effective communication: confidence, clear and concise, collaboration, content, critical thinking, creativity and champion mindset. In MindChamps’ speech classes offered they’ll be taught to effectively communicate, develop their interpersonal and emotional skills and understand how to connect with their peers. Visit our MindChamps Académie of Stars centre in Marina Square Singapore to speak to our team of instructors and learn more about our speech classes, school and the curriculum.
Link to Blog Aug #4 “Effective Communication as an Essential Life Skill”