Communicating correctly means being able to connect and share ideas and feelings with others. This can be applied to either verbal or non-verbal communication. At an early age, children learn to interact with loved ones and how to communicate their wants and needs so they can be met by their caregivers. This then evolves into getting their ideas across.
Your child’s communication skills develop exponentially during the first years of life, especially if they are getting help from caring adults around them. Here are five things you can do yourself to help them communicate better:
- Talk with your child and listen to them when you do. Make eye-contact and help build on their language skills by asking open-ended questions, to encourage them to keep sharing their thoughts.
- Respect and recognize your child’s feelings and ideas. They’ll be more open to share their thoughts if they feel safe and know that they won’t be judged or criticized. Keep in mind that you can empathize with your child’s feelings, but disagree with their behavior.
- Ask your little one questions about their day. This will let them know that you genuinely care about them and want to hear their opinion. You can even get in the habit of doing this every night, recap the day’s events, and talk to your child about how they felt throughout the day.
- If you haven’t already, add a momento for reading to your daily routine. When reading, encourage your little one to repeat a few words and phrases, and talk about the plot and pictures in the story. They might be curious and ask simple questions about the book, like “What’s that?”.
- Be a good role model for your child. They are watching you closely and learning from you. Talk to others with respect and they will follow your lead. Model good communication skills, like listening when someone else is talking and then commenting on what they said.