Ministry of Education, Guyana

What Promotes Communication in Children

Communication is essential for all healthy relationships, including the one between you and your child. It is also vital for your child's development and well-being. Your child needs good communication skills so that he's able to have positive social interaction and make his wants and needs known. Help your child learn how to communicate openly and appropriately by engaging him in enjoyable discussions and by making him feel heard.

Taking the time to listen to your child helps you communicate with him more effectively. When your child feels that he is being heard, he will be more likely to communicate with you and express himself more openly. Show your child that you are listening to what he is saying by turning your body to face him and stopping any activity you are doing. You can also lower your body to his level and look him in the eyes as he speaks. Let your child finish what he is saying to you without interrupting or speaking over him.

Safe Environment
Your child will be more likely to communicate and express himself if he feels that he is taken seriously and others in the family want to hear what he has to say. Make a safe, confidential environment in your home and provide uninterrupted time for family chats and discussions. Share a meal together as a family around the table and talk about your day. Your child needs time to practice speaking, express his ideas and relay an event. To encourage your child to share, tell a positive story or talk about something interesting you learned that day.

Ask your child open-ended questions that require more than a 'yes' or 'no' response. Instead of asking "Did you have a good day?" say: "Tell me about your day" or "What did you enjoy the most today?" Questions such as these encourage your child to be more descriptive and expressive when communicating with you. Additionally, when your child asks you a question such as "Can I watch that?" encourage them to describe what they want with more detail by asking "What is this program about?"

Routines may seem dull, but they can also promote learning and communication with your child. When your daily routines involve certain activities your child is better prepared and can talk about it because he knows what will happen next. Additionally, having some consistency during the day gives your child stability and comfort to relax and be aware of the best times to talk. Tell a story or read a book every night to give your child a love of language and encourage discussion. 


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