Effective Communication with Children - Techniques and Tips
By Andrew Loh
Teaching good communication skills to your children need not be too
difficult. Here are some of the most effective methods and techniques to
enhance communication skills in your children.
Two critical questions will decide the outcome of any exercise that deal
with the art of better communication. These two questions are:
What type of activities will encourage and inspire children to talk
and listen to others?
What can parents do to cajole and encourage
children to talk to others?
Listen to your Children - Children have their own
problems and concerns. They also have the habit of talking endlessly to
their parents to let them know about their concerns. It is very critical
to listen to their problems, so that they will be encouraged
to open up their minds. Children will have many things or issues to talk about and
they need someone who can listen to their mind and solve their problems.
Constant listening will also help improve relationship with your
children. Parents can learn many things from their children, when they
actively listen to them.
Child psychologists believe that listening forms an important part of
communication. Many parents simply fail to listen to their children.
Instead, they try to control their children by telling them to do what
they have in their minds. This will eventually result in a perceived
dissonance in the
Encourage your children to speak and express their
opinions. Let them know the importance of listening to others first
before talking to them.
Teach them how active and
meaningful communication occurs between two people.
basics of communicating with other people, especially adults.
them how to be polite, while talking to others.
Activities: Teach how to talk to others over a phone or ask them to
tell some stories in their own words.
Use Encouraging and Cajoling Words - Children always do
well with positive attention displayed from their parents. They want unlimited love
and affection from their parents too. Parents should use encouraging and
cajoling words of encouragement. They should also avoid using negative
words that would make them negative-minded. If children do
something good, parents should complement them immediately with good
words and phrases. A relatively large numbers of words and phrases can work wonder,
while unnecessary criticism and ridicule will lead to several
disadvantages. Make it a point to praise your children for their efforts
and not their intelligence or smartness.
The important part of this exercise is to let your children know that
praising or speaking good words is always better for them. Your children
should understand that speaking good words to others would create a
harmonious, personal relationship.
Activities: Make sure that you use encouraging words, while you are
talking to your children. Following are some of the most important
I am so proud of you,
I like the manner in which you are doing your homework,
That was really good,
You are doing well,
That is a great idea,
What a great idea,
Keep it up,
You are improving,
were so patient,
You did great,
You are a genius,
appreciate that you did your homework by yourself,
I like your
I simply love you and
Many other words that you
find are good for your children.
Importance of Non-Verbal Communication Skills -
Non-verbal skills are as important as verbal skills, because people
always use non-verbal expressions to convey their ideas and expressions.
Body posture and body language could help people in silent conversation
with others. Such conversations occur between two people as a part of
cultural dissemination. Practice a number of role-playing games that use the
basic art of body language.
Activities: Facial expressions and body movements are the
originators of communication between two persons or among a group of
people. Movements of eyes, twitching of facial muscles, nodding of head,
movements of hands and general positioning of the body indicate
different meanings to different people. You may wish to learn these body
movements by yourself before teaching them to your children. Buy a book
that gives you practical information on body language and body dynamics.
Encouraging Speech - Classroom is not a place for
learning how to speak, because it is a controlled environment, where the
teacher does all the talking. Children are the passive listeners in a
typical classroom. On the other hand, home could be the place, where
children can learn how to speak. Encourage free speech with your
children by letting them to speak to their heart's content. Correct them,
when they commit some simple mistakes. Play teacher-student games, where
your children are the teachers and you, their obedient student.
Shop or a
Learning by Imitation - This is a wonderful way of
learning the art of effective communication. Children always imitate
their teachers and elders. You can use this advantage to teach your
children the basics of effective communication.
Initiate a debating competition in your home for the
benefit of children
Start the debate and dialogue
children to start talking on any topic of their choice
Help them to
start the conversation and keep it going
Correct them, if they
commit any mistakes or errors
Many a time, children may feel shy and withdrawn, while talking to their
teachers and friends. Sometimes, they could even be suffering from a self-esteem problem.
Parents will need to encourage their children to shed their inhibitions
and negatives. They should also play an active role to help their
children learn and master the art of effective communication.
Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication
By Dr. Haim, G. Ginott and Alice Ginott
Over the past thirty-five years, Between Parent and Child has helped millions of parents around
the world strengthen their relationships with their children. Written by renowned psychologist
Dr. Haim Ginott, this revolutionary book offered a straightforward prescription for empathetic
yet disciplined child rearing and introduced new communication techniques.
In this revised edition, Dr. Alice Ginott, clinical psychologist and wife of the late Haim Ginott,
and family relationship specialist Dr. H. Wallace Goddard usher this bestselling classic into the
new century while retaining the book's positive message and Haim Ginott's warm, accessible voice.