Effective communication skills enable children to express themselves clearly and enhance
their social interactions. It boosts their confidence and helps them to become responsive.
Communication refers to verbal, non-verbal, written, listening, and visual skills. Here are
some useful tips to improve communication skills in your children:

1. Have Regular Conversations
The more you talk to your children, the more words and sentences they can pick up. Involve
them in family conversations and encourage them to express their ideas and opinions. You
can talk about their school, friends, likes and dislikes, movies, books or anything that you
are both comfortable talking about.

2. Inculcate a Reading Habit
Books open a new world of language for your children. Books help them to learn new
words, unleash their imagination, and build their verbal prowess. Give them age-
appropriate books for reading or read them aloud.

3. Be an Active Listener
When your children are talking to you, pay close attention to them and maintain steady eye
contact. Don’t interrupt them and don’t distract yourself with other activities. This will teach
your children the value of listening and recognising others’ feelings and perspectives.
You can play a telephone game in which you make a group, whisper a message into each
other’s ears, and pass it on to others. This will help your children to develop active listening
skills.

4. Create a Safe Environment to Express
Children tend to become angry or frustrated if they are not able to express
themselves through words. Sometimes, they even react violently and throw extreme
tantrums. Observe your children’s behaviour for a few days and find out if your children
resort to such tactics to get your attention. If yes, then it indicates they are unable to
express themselves through words. They are shy or afraid to voice their feelings.
In such scenarios, you need to make conscious efforts to create a safe environment for them
to express their feelings. Built their trust and let them know that it is safe for them to speak
to you about anything without hesitation.

5. Play Emotional Charades
This is a game where you ask your children to enact different emotions such as joy, sadness,
anger, surprise, excitement, humour, etc. You can prepare chits or buy readymade flashcards on emotions. Your child has to pick one chit or flashcard, and act out that expression. This game will help to recognize different facial expressions.

6. Give Creative Writing Prompts
Creative writing prompts are a great way to develop the written communication skills of
your children. You can make your own prompts or find them easily on the internet as per
the age of your children. Ask them to write a few sentences or composition on that prompt.
This will build their vocabulary and imagination.

7. Give Speech Prompts
You can ask your children to speak about a topic extempore or with prior preparation. If
they are little, they can also do a show and tell activity. This exercise will help your children
shed their inhibitions in speaking in front of an audience.

You can even consider enrolling your children in communication and interpersonal classes
such as creative writing, speech, drama, acting and public speaking.

About Prabha Kulkarni

Prabha is a retired teacher, who enjoys writing on various topics. Most of her current writing is currently influenced by her young grand-daughters, as she grapples with the differences in the world they will grow up in, and the one in which she spent the best years of her life. Prabha is also a proud technophile who plans to start her blog soon.

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