As your child grows and develops their language skills, they will also develop their communication skills. Communication is a key part of their development, and good communication can help your child feel safe and secure in their environment while also helping them develop their other skills.
Communication also helps children connect with people around them and is a valuable skill to develop especially in daycare where they start to make friends.
What does good communication look like?
Good communication from an adult should make a child feel heard and valued. You should actively listen to your child and give them your full attention to their verbal and non-verbal communication. Persevering and doing your best to understand your child will tell your child that what they’re saying is worth listening to. And responding to them with appropriate tone, words, and body language will make your child feel heard.
Good communication can look like:
- Turning off your phone, TV, or computer when you and your child are communicating
- Talking about everyday things
- Setting aside time to talk and listen to each other, e.g. dinner time
- Involving your child in conversations by asking them what they think about something
- Calming down from your own strong emotions (e.g. anger) before talking to your child
- Setting an example on how to listen and talk to other people
What are some things you can do to help develop your child’s communication skills?
- Talking about books you two have just read or the TV show you two have just watched
- Narrate what you’re doing in the kitchen or in the garden
- Ask open-ended questions like “do you think it’s going to rain?” “why does it look like it’s going to rain?” “why is the sky so grey?”
- Read with your child
- Sing with your child
- And simply just talk to them
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