When it comes to your child’s communication skills, early intervention means a lot. And with key tips, you can help improve it. Raising a child with a strong command of spoken and written language is key to their confidence. Children usually learn language skills through conversation, reading, and writing. Developing language skills during growing years helps them communicate for the rest of their lives.
Early Intervention And Your Child’s Communication Skills
Studies show children learn their communication skills by observing their parents and interacting with the world around them. Therefore, the earlier you begin healthy two-way communication, the better. Doing so means they will learn quicker and develop communications skills faster.
Of course, many parents encounter roadblocks and challenges when it comes to communication. Early intervention will help develop your child’s social skills as well as interpersonal skills. And help them cultivate and interpret nonverbal communication skills as well.
Typically, children start communicating from birth. So, this means every day, as they develop, their development faces critical developmental milestones. And it is essential to foster their communication skills. As their complex communication skills develop, the tools you give them can make or break their success.
Below, you’ll discover ways to help your children foster their communication skills for learning speech and language.
1 – Start Communicating Early And Often
Children can learn so much from their parents by observing them. The fact is, talking to your children can help them improve their communication skills. More so, you’ll want to speak to them early on and as often as possible. Sometimes, children with difficulty communicating might be hesitant to speak at all. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen to your child by engaging them in various conversations, big or small.
However, you want your child to feel comfortable and have the conversation feeling natural and not forced. Instead, they will feel more at ease sharing ideas and information when you involve them in frequent productive discussions. In particular, babies can reach communication milestones by three months of age. And their skills continue developmental progress from 4-5 years and beyond.
2 – Practice The Habit Of Storytelling
Studies show when you take the time to read to your children, it helps the brain develop their imagination and communication skills. Of course, storytelling has many benefits like instilling virtue, fostering imagination, helps sharpen memory and cultural understanding skills.
As part of your daily routine, you can tell your children many stories about your everyday life and practices. Doing so helps improve social skills and creates a stronger bonding experience as well. Plus, they will learn how to share their stories with their peers and discover two-way conversation skills. Of course, use books to help with storytelling skills as often as possible.
More so, you can teach your children new words and begin to correct their grammatical mistakes. You can also guide them to use interesting phrases in the conversation. Using props like colorful images also helps this process. And you can have them arrange the pictures in logical order. Plus, this helps foster the entire process of storytelling, and children love it.
3 – Teach Them Body Gestures Early On
Body gesturing early on has many benefits. First, always make eye contact when communicating with your children. Furthermore, this is a way of making them feel at ease and showing appreciation for their participation in the conversation. Finally, always try and match the movement to the message.
For example, point out examples during your interaction. Plus, it’s essential to point out examples of body gestures so they can spot clues. But be sure and let your child know these gestures alone don’t convey the entire message. Instead, express how these gestures are a part of the expression.
Children struggling with communication skills may experience challenges with nonverbal cues (in other words, body language). Your child can learn body language from you with real-world experience. For example, you can say to them, “Mama is winking at me because she is happy” or “When you ignore my instructions, it hurts me.” And this will help children develop their communication skills effectively.
4 – Learning Communication Skills In The Right Environment
When it comes to fostering communication skills, you’ll want to ensure a healthy environment as well. For instance, noisy or stressful surroundings can negatively affect your child’s communication progress. Of course, you don’t want to shelter them but rather provide a healthy balance.
Background noises from radio, T.V., or even a conversation between family in another room, can hinder a child’s focus. It can keep children from concentrating on the tasks at hand and create stress that inhibits learning. Always look for signs of stress in your children. Stress can negatively affect children of any age, and a healthy environment can contribute to poorly developed communication skills.
For example, children can experience problems in school and even psychosis in hostile environments. Creating a healthy atmosphere for our children can help avoid the effects of stress and their development.
5 – Don’t Push Too Hard Or Pressure Them To Learn
Children need love in their developmental stages. However, when you talk to your child in an authoritative tone at most times, it can affect their confidence and their speaking skills. Instead, they will become defensive rather than spend that time learning.
More so, it’s best to express gently upon them the mistakes you want to correct. Use examples to clarify how they can modify their behaviors. Pressuring or pushing children too hard can create unwanted results. Whether for sports or engaging in new social situations, pushing too hard can have negative consequences.
6 – Use Questions To Your Benefit Communication Skills
While not every question you ask your child will overwhelm them, you want to choose the tone wisely. Instead, it’s how you ask the question that will determine your child’s response and, eventually, learning.
When it comes to your child’s communication skills, questioning to understand and foster feedback is the overall goal. However, at times, your child can feel questioning as a threat and push back.
For example, instead of asking, “What’s that?” you can ask, “Is that a bird?”. More so, this will do two things:
- Your child will know you’re seeking their opinion, not ordering. So, they will feel a natural urge to reply, not an obligation to respond.
- Children have their notions. So, if they may feel an ostrich isn’t a bird because it doesn’t look like their idea of a bird (say, a sparrow). Sure, you can explain that ostriches are also birds in a friendly way.
This way, you can have productive conversations with your child and use questions to your benefit.
7 – Give Them The Time They Need
Of course, your child needs the proper amount of time to respond and gather their thoughts and feelings. At times, our expectations of where they should fit on the spectrum can become outsized. It’s a good idea to keep your expectations in check when your child develops their communication skills.
For example, if you think your child stutters a lot while answering your question, try counting to ten (in your mind) and observe them. Chances are, they will come up with a structured answer, enough to make you happy!
However, even after following the above tips, if you notice struggles in your child’s communication, they might experience some disorder. Most communication disorders can experience improvements with the proper training and attention.
Common Communication Disorders in Kids
- Speech-Sound – The child may face issues expressing certain words that they should speak or listen comfortably at their age.
- Socio-communication Issues – The child faces issues with verbal and non-verbal communication. However, the cause isn’t from their inability to think. Doctor intervention can help identify the causes.
- Speaking Disorder – The child faces difficulty in speaking.
- Autism – Autism is a disorder where a child may have issues in listening, speaking, or thinking clearly. They may also show repetitive behavior and act differently compared to other children.
With an effective approach like ABA therapy and expert guidance, these challenges can meet with great success.
Because we live in a world of high tech, it’s important to draw the line between the real world and that of social media. Therefore, try not to rely upon technology too much for your child’s communication skills. Rather, it’s a good idea to help your child gain these essential skills crucial to their learning and social interaction with others in the real world.
But it’s never too late to help your child gain these essential skills crucial to their learning and social interaction with others. As stated above, if you notice any signs of communication disorders, do not hesitate to consult a therapist.
Regardless of the type of relationship, it’s essential to show appreciation to the man in your life. So often, we forget how important it is to them. If you feel blessed to have the support and love of a good man, consider yourself lucky. As a result, you can show your appreciation and love in several steps.