Communication is hard for adults and children alike, but one thing that we can do as parents is trying our best to help our children learn how to communicate effectively now and for years to come. Communication is the key to success in your personal and professional life and it is so important for our children to start learning how to best communicate from a very young age. If you want to help your children learn how to effectively communicate, here are 5 ways to consider:
Read more books
No matter how old your child is, reading is a fantastic way to help your child learn and communicate effectively. Reading will help your children learn new skills, learn about colors, shapes, and things we do, and it will teach them new words. Reading is so beneficial and that is why pediatricians recommend reading every single day! Here are just a few benefits of reading to your children:
-Supported cognitive development
-Improved language skills
-Preparation for academic success
-Developing a special bond with your child
-Increased concentration and discipline
-Improved imagination and creativity
-Cultivating a lifelong love of reading
In addition to books, sensory play can be very beneficial, as well!!!
Show and talk about daily occurrences
Go throughout your day-to-day life and talk about it! If you have a toddler, explain even the smallest details such as “let me help you buckle your car seat,” or “do you see that red bird? It is eating birdseed or trying to find a worm!” This is how your child will learn words and how life works. The smallest details are not too small to explain – trust me! The more you talk and the more you describe, the more your children will learn and be able to communicate now and long-term, as well.
Use “door opener” statements when talking
Door opener statements encourage your child to say more and to share ideas and feelings. They tell your child that you’re really listening and interested. They also communicate that you think her ideas are important, and that you accept her and respect what she’s saying. Examples of “door opener” statements could be: “wow,” I see,” “Oh,” “How about that!” “Really? “Tell me more!” “That is so interesting.” “Amazing!!!” When you use these statements, your child will get the sense that you’re truly interested. Children are more likely to share when they think you’re engaged with what they’re saying. It goes without saying that you must also look up to what you’re doing and focus on them. The words alone won’t count.
Pick up on important emotions
When your child has noticeable emotion in their words or in their body language, attend to that feeling. It’s often useful to make an observation or restate what you hear them say. This sends the message that you are taking them and their feelings seriously. For example, you might say, “You’re upset because I’m not letting you go outside to play after it’s dark?” These reflective statements then allow your child to respond by affirming or clarifying what they are feeling and it will usually prompt more conversation. Once you pick up on a feeling, make sure that feeling is brought up. Empathy is one of the most powerful and comforting responses we can give to another person, especially a child. When you acknowledge those feelings, you validate them. This includes those feelings we often think of as “negative,” such as anger, frustration, and disappointment. Often, acknowledgment of their feelings is all the child needs to begin dealing with the problem at hand. When you validate a child’s emotion you sensitize them to that emotion and give them permission to feel it and also acknowledge it in other people. Doing this will open communication doors and show them how to be patient and empathetic with others.
Consider Speech Therapy
Last but not least, consider speech therapy. No matter how much you do (or don’t do), sometimes children just have trouble communicating and it is nothing that you are doing wrong. Talk About Therapy – Speech Therapy was founded because they believe in and love providing intuitive, effective, and sustainable therapy to their patients and families to improve their feeding and communication skills. Their goal is to help their patients and their families build a strong and functional foundation towards communication AND feeding and slowly build upon that foundation to create lasting results.
They say, “We offer clinic-based and teletherapy Early Intervention Tongue-Tie therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Feeding Therapy to families in the Metro Atlanta area, including North Atlanta, Buckhead, East Cobb, Decatur, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Vinings and Marietta, Georgia. Our licensed therapist is here to support your child and family with the best individualized care through services like tongue tie and lip tie intervention, speech therapy for kids, speech therapy for toddlers, feeding therapy, and to guide you through challenging experiences such as breastfeeding problems, and knowing what to expect after tongue-tie release.” No matter if you need help with pediatric feeding in Atlanta, or speech and language therapy, Talk about therapy is there to help!