As a parent, you’ll feel proud when your child can speak confidently with his friends, teachers, and even strangers. Nothing will make you happier than seeing your child getting into serious discussions with other children or when you see your child asked to perform certain special activities during open school days. A child who knows how to express himself will have several opportunities opening up for him. On the other hand, children that have difficulty with communication may struggle academically and socially. You can take it upon yourself to help your child be a strong and confident communicator before it’s too late. How is this possible? Follow the eight tips below.
1. Prioritize talking to your child
A child who can’t communicate well will be shy to talk. To help such a child, you need to regularly start conversations with him on any topic that interests him.
You can also participate in his conversations with other children to make him feel comfortable speaking and sharing whatever he has in mind. Talk to him while on his way to school, when back from school, and at any other time, you get a chance.
Give them a chance to narrate to the entire family what happened in school. As you talk with the child, introduce new words and concepts to broaden his vocabulary.
2. Encourage role-playing
Role-playing is perhaps the most effective way of boosting a child’s self-esteem. You can use role-playing games or pick some familiar scenes in family movies and try to play them out with your children.
You can also act as your child’s teacher and see how he interacts with teachers at school. Another way of doing it is to read storybooks for them, then try to act as the characters in the story – if they can read the books on their own, the better.
3. Be a good listener
Since you want to help the child to be a confident communicator, you need to do a lot of listening. Provide the child with listening years so they can speak as much as they want.
Listening is a crucial component of communication, but that doesn’t mean you have to go mute – chip in once in a while to keep the conversation going on. A child cannot learn to speak confidently if he has no audience. Be that audience and encourage other family members to follow suit. If you notice any problems with his speech, consider using an online speech therapy practice.
4. Teach them the use of body language
A child who has problems communicating with his friends will also find it hard to pick up on the appropriate body language. Body language plays a significant role in communication because it affects how a message is passed across.
Teach them that body language can provide clues about a person’s motivations, intentions, and emotions. Explain to your child what each expression means and how he can use body language to express authority. Teach them to maintain eye contact and not look down when speaking.
5. Teach them the techniques of starting conversations
Let your child know that he can start a conversation with them in a friendly manner when he’s out there with his friends. Teach them the statements they can use to open conversations with their friends. Make sure they have different phrases they can use in different situations. For example, a simple phrase like “Hello, I am Paul” can be a good opening statement.
6. Arrange performances
Buy your child some simple poetry book and encourage them to recite the poems before the family members. You can also teach them songs and ask them to sing as others listen. Poems, songs, dances, and other such performances will teach your child how to express himself and boost his self-confidence. It also gives them the courage to perform such activities while at school.
7. Seek opinions from your child
Asking your child to give an opinion will make them feel valued and empowered. As the child gives his opinion and others listen, the child will learn how to express himself confidently. You can start by giving him options, asking him to choose one, and providing reasons for doing so. For example, when planning for dinner, give them the choices you have in mind, then let them choose. With time, you can ask them to give opinions without giving them options. You can encourage him to take part in family discussions and voice their opinions.
You can also ask them to talk about themselves. What they like, what they dislike, etc. If a child is confident enough to speak during a family gathering, he will not have problems speaking before a large audience.
8. Do not put too much pressure on the child to speak
Always remember you are dealing with a child and not an adult. Don’t go overboard when helping your child become a confident communicator. Engage them for only a few hours per day, giving them time to play and do other things.
When communicating with them, use short phrases and lots of pauses so they can understand what you are saying. Sometimes it would help to allow them to volunteer to speak rather than appear as if you are forcing them to speak.
The above tips will go a long way in helping your child to be a confident communicator. The earlier you start, the better. So if you’d never thought about helping your child develop self-esteem, the best time to start is now.
Encourage them to socialize with the right people and expose them to different situations. If you notice that your child has serious speech issues, then you better seek help.
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