As you go about your day be conscious of the many opportunities available to you to naturally guide your child ineffective communication skills. It’s important for children to understand the importance of communication and how this important skill can improve their experience with others and open doors of opportunity.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin
Children who master effective communication skills are happier, achieve more academically and socially both in youth and adult lives. Leaders evolve out of good communication skills. Learning how to speak and present at a young age produces self-confidence that will lead your children to a life of success and financial independence.
Here are 3 steps to encourage effective communication in your children:
1. For the younger children, skills are developing while playing simple games that tap into their young imaginative minds. Pretend telephone conversations, playing store, library or play office are all things that mirror the adult world they see.
As children get older these experiences can actually help them become proficient with household tasks like taking phone messages, sorting the mail and making grocery lists. They’ll naturally evolve into more responsible tasks such as with the family business or home office personal assistant tasks for you entrepreneurs out there.
2. Have your children produce presentations on their favorite subject. This again can begin with the youngest all the way up to the oldest. Let their imagination run wild. They can present on things they have made or constructed, studies they have researched, a favorite sport, or a short story they have written. Other examples include reciting a memorized passage from a favorite story or poem, singing or playing a musical instrument. Have them do this on a regular basis at home so they grow to feel comfortable presenting what they have accomplished. As they grow in confidence introduce them to a wider audience by including family and friends, homeschool meeting groups, retirement homes or any group that’s appropriate to help create a positive experience for your child.
3. Fear of public speaking was listed by nearly 70% of respondents as their #1 fear. You can help your children avoid this fear by giving them the tools to succeed and avoiding this all too common adult fear. Are you familiar with Toastmasters Int’l? It is an organization that develops the best speakers and communicators. Once your children get comfortable with making their presentations or speaking on various subjects you can explain this one lesson taught in Toastmasters, not to use long pauses or words/sounds while speaking such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” “er,” and “you know.” Eliminating these words and sounds creates focus on purposeful speaking and increases vocabulary and articulation. In a Toastmasters meeting when someone is speaking another member is noting on a paper how many “um’s” were uttered helping the speaker hone his speaking skills.
Remember, along with reading the best literature, whole books, narration, writing and everyday engaged interaction with you and those around him, your child is sure to grow into a brilliant person who is able to live a very fulfilling life and contribute greatly to his society.
“He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.” -Confucius