As a parent, you get used to the presence of your little one around the house on a daily basis. You get used to seeing your little ones develop and progress and can often start to take things for granted or automatically assume that they are at the right point that they should be at intellectually and emotionally. This can result in you beginning to accept certain traits or behaviour as normal rather than acknowledging potential problems or difficulties. This is particularly true when it comes to communication. Many parents do not realise that their children are not communicating as well as they should be at their given age. This can be problematic, as when children are not given a little encouragement or a push in the right direction, they too can become complacent – many kids will accept the easiest route and if they don’t have to improve, they won’t. Say your child is in the early stages of speech development and you grow to understand what that they want something in particular when they use a certain sound. If you always give them what they want when they make the sound, they’re less likely to make the effort to learn the proper word for it or the proper way of asking for it. This can prove problematic down the line, as babysitters or teachers won’t automatically know what the sound they are making means and they won’t be able to give the child what they want or need. As you can see, it’s extremely important for us as parents to ensure that our little ones are communicating as effectively as possible! So, let’s take a moment to look at the importance of communication for kids and how to encourage positive and progressive communication.
- Benefits of Effective Communication. As we are all well aware, communication skills are necessary to get through life itself. They are fundamental to children’s development, as poor communication skills can result in stunted intellectual and emotional development. Not only is it necessary for learning, but it is also key when it comes to forming strong relationships with others, such as healthy familial relations, friendships, and more professional relations such as student-teacher bonds. Let’s take a little look at some of the main benefits of raising children who can communicate themselves effectively.
- Foundations of Attachment. Communication with your children from a very young age forms the foundations of attachment. This is why it’s important to remember that communication doesn’t have to be solely verbal. When you have a newborn baby, you can still communicate with them, despite the fact that they will not understand words for a significant period of time. If you are responsive to a baby’s signals – these can be responding to crying, laughter, smiles, or other gestures – you are likely to form a strong attachment bond, as your little one will feel that they can rely on you to pick up their signals. This also helps them to develop faster, as they will learn new ways to communicate themselves with you, eventually picking up the connotations of different hand gestures, facial expressions, and words. What’s more? They’ll feel that they can reach out to you when they can communicate with words, confiding in you.
- Communication is a Vehicle for Learning. We all want our children to excel at school. We want our little ones to be able to read and write well and to be numerically competent. This all starts with an ability for them to communicate well. After all, the better they can communicate with ourselves and teachers, the more easy a time they will have of picking up new concepts, such as letters and numbers. You can’t expect children to be able to learn if they are unable to listen and exchange information verbally. It has been found that children who have poor communication skills are likely to experience difficulties “sounding out” words in order to spell and write them properly.
- Ability to Foster Friendships and Positive Relationships. Children who have difficulties with communication can experience intense frustration at not being able to express themselves effectively to others, which can result in behavioural issues. This will have detrimental effects on all sorts of relationships in their lives. You may find that they are not fostering positive relationships with you, siblings, other relatives, teachers, classmates, or other friends. This will result in further difficulties down the line, as they will not have as strong a support network around them as they probably should have.
- Improving Communication. The good news is that it’s not entirely up to your child alone to improve on their communication skills. You can help them on their journey. Here are just a few different things that you can do to boost communication with your children.
- Communicate With Them Yourself. Sure, you’re probably not going to be able to hold a conversation with your little one on niche subjects that may interest you, like the discography and development of your favourite band, or how your new business model is going to push your career forward. But this isn’t about you. It’s about them! You should talk to your little ones about whatever it may be that they want to talk about. Create situations where they can do this freely. Eat dinner around a table in the evenings rather than in front of the television. This makes conversation the main source of entertainment. Invest in Park Picnic Tables & Benches for your outdoor spaces, so that once they’re worn out from running around taking part in outdoor activities, they can sit down with you and chat while they relax and recuperate their energy levels. Creating opportunities for conversation is simple. You just have to put a little thought and effort into them!
- Take Them to Playgroups. It is important that your little ones have sufficient opportunities to talk to others around their own age as well as adults. This is particularly important for only children or kids with big age gaps between them and their siblings. Take them to playgroups where they can chat away with others their own age too!
As you can see, communication is essential to your child’s healthy development. So, be aware of how it can affect their lives and provide plenty of opportunities for them to improve upon their skills!
This post contains contributed content.