Communicating effectively is a life skill that we all need. It is rewarding and satisfying when a parent sees their child speaking to others or in front of a big audience confidently. Children who are confident speaking with others can also enhance their learning by gaining information through everyday interactions and experiences with their family, friends and other adults.
While most children in primary school are able to speak clearly and gain communication skills naturally, there are some ways where parents can give them a little boost.
1. Teach them listening skills
The ability to listen is important for effective communication. For example, guide your child by teaching them not to interrupt when you are speaking or say excuse me if she has to. At the same time, set an example by listening to your child and giving them the same attention. When your child is talking, make sure to respond or react to it. This expresses that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say.
It is important to maintain eye contact when speaking to them as it helps improve concentration and also show them that their words are respected. Children often imitate adult behaviour, so when you set a good example, they will follow!
2. Ask them questions
When we ask children questions, especially big and open-ended questions, we are supporting and encouraging their language development and critical thinking. Making them think about questions opens the doors to conversations and encourages them to formulate their thoughts and communicate them. We can encourage them to express themselves and talk about their ideas and emotions.
Asking your child for their opinions can make them feel empowered. When given the opportunity to make their own decisions, they become more confident and want to make their thoughts and ideas known.
3. Talk to your child regularly
It is important to teach your child how to start conversations and take part in them, so they can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts. For example, chat with them while you’re sending them to school or when you are preparing dinner in the kitchen. Explain what you are doing to them. Talking to your child regularly not only boosts their conversational skills, but also their language skills, as children will listen to how you speak and learn how to pronounce words correctly. You can also broaden their vocabulary by including new words in your conversations.
4. Encourage them to socialise
Socialising is vital when it comes to building communication skills. The best way to expose your child to social situations is to arrange suitable social opportunities for them. Mixing with others their own age can improve their confidence. A study has shown that speaking skills and self-confidence are interconnected.
Developing good speaking skills and building confidence takes both time and practice. Be supportive and always encourage your child! You are the most influential figure in their lives, so remember to be a good example. Many international schools in Singapore strongly believe that speaking is a skill that should be a practised from young. If you are interested and feel that it is the place for your child, do check out the international school fees in Singapore!