My 10-year-old nephew has always been a shy and introverted child. While he excels at academics and talks easily with close family members, he often withdraws himself from school and social situations. He didn’t have any friends and his teachers often brought up his lack of verbal communication skills as something to improve during parent-teacher meetings.
I am sure there are thousands of children like my nephew who struggle with good verbal communication skills. It is understandable that some children are inherently less spoken but it raises a concern when it adversely starts impacting their relationships and development.
Here are some useful ways to improve your child’s verbal communication skills.
- Include Them in Conversations
Whenever conversations are being held in the family or elsewhere, encourage the child to give their opinions or suggestions. This will make them feel valued and important and they will gradually open up to the idea of speaking their mind.
- Make Them Journal Their Thoughts
Some children are less verbose because they are unable to express themselves. You can teach them to journal their feelings and emotions on paper. This will help them to vocalise their thoughts in their mind and find the confidence to express them verbally.
You can ask your child to read storybooks and summarise them in front of the family. Another way is to give them a few pictures from books or magazines and let them create their own story. A show and tell activity is also a good idea. You can plan a fun storytelling night on Fridays or weekends so that your child can look forward to it.
- Talk Often
Sometimes, parents hardly talk to their children due to hectic work schedules. Of course, there is routine talk but not heart-to-heart or leisurely conversations. Spend some time every day with your child talking about anything and everything. Ask them questions so that it gives them an opening to talk about something.
- Enrol in Group Classes
You can consider enrolling your children in group classes such as dance, football, speech and drama, STEM and robotics, etc. When your child gets an opportunity to interact with peers of their age, they will gradually leave their shyness and mingle with others. These days, there are also communication and interpersonal classes which focus exclusively on building your child’s communications skills.
We hope these tips will improve your child’s communication skills. It may take time, you have to just make sure that you don’t make them feel that it is a huge weakness or else they will become even more recluse.