Learning to communicate clearly is a skill set we can all benefit from. One of the best things you can do for your young child is helping them develop positive communication skills from the time they are very little. If you have a child who is of preschool age, there is no better time than now to start instilling positive communication skills in their day-to-day life.
Here at Yellow Brick Road, we provide outstanding child care in Plymouth. Our goal is to help your child develop the skills they will need to enter the next stage of their life. From infants to pre-k, we have a program to help your young child not only receive the care they need but to also encourage healthy development. We are passionate about ensuring every child in our care learns the skills they need to continue to succeed.
Read on to learn more about how you can help aid your child in developing positive communication skills from a young age.
Clear Communication Starts With You
Before you can teach your child how to communicate clearly and effectively, you need to be sure you, yourself, communicate well. As a parent, you set the example for your child and they will mimic what you do. Take the time to consider your own communication skills. Do you have any weak points? Write down any areas you think you could work to improve upon and take time to improve your own skill set before you try to teach your young one.
For example, if you find that you interrupt other family members frequently, focus your energy on improving your listening skills. No matter what lessons you try to impart to your children, they will first and foremost be watching what you do. If what you say and what you do don’t line up, they will usually mimic your behavior, not your words.
If you aren’t sure where you can improve, ask a friend or spouse for constructive criticism. Ask them to help you find areas you could work on doing better in. Remember, this is a family effort too. How you and your spouse communicate, as well as how you communicate with older kids in the home will play a large role in the skills your young child develops.
Practice Listening And Taking Turns
One of the most important components of communication that your child will need to learn is the ability to listen and take turns in conversations. For young children, it is often difficult to control their own impulses, which can make listening hard for them.
Practice listening and taking turns in a conversation in a fun way. For example, you could grab a big beach ball and have your young child play a game with you. Tell them that whoever has the beach ball gets to talk and whoever doesn’t needs to listen.
Start by asking them a fun question about their favorite animal and then pass them the beach ball. While they are sharing, demonstrate listening quietly to them. Next, have them ask a question of you or another family member and pass the beach ball to that person. This visual representation can help a young child understand the concept of taking turns in conversation, just like they would take turns during a game.
Help Them Learn To Communicate Emotions
For young children, their emotions often run strong and it can be difficult for them to communicate well when they are angry or upset. We have all met adults who never learned how to express these feelings and still retain a childlike lashing-out reaction to their emotions. Help your child from a young age not only feel safe to express their feelings but to also develop a strong vocabulary for those feelings.
For example, if your child is angry, don’t punish them for expressing that feeling. Instead, try to teach them how to express their anger in a more constructive way. Redirect their initial outburst and take the time to truly hear them. You might offer them a pillow and let them know that it isn’t appropriate to throw toys or hit other people but that their anger is ok and they can punch the pillow instead. Then, work with them to find words to explain why they are angry. Did someone hurt their feelings? Maybe they are also feeling sad. Did someone take their toy? Teach them about anger that stems from feeling like you were wronged. The more you can help them explore their feelings and develop a vocabulary to express those feelings, the better they will learn to control them and to instead opt for clear communication about how they feel.
When it comes to communicating feelings, it is extremely important that you, as the adult, take the time to be patient as they learn to express their emotions. Be very careful to never punish your child for their feelings but instead to focus the appropriate ways to express those feelings.
When it comes to child care in Plymouth, Yellow Brick Road is leading the way in aiding with healthy development in young children. Talk to us today about our services and programs and help your child develop the communication skills they will need.