Want your preschooler to grow up into a dazzling conversationalist? If you do, you have to help him work on his communication skills early on in life. Follow these tips to help your preschooler engage in conversation.
In general, preschoolers love talking. Since there is so much of the world they haven’t yet seen, they have a barrage of whys and hows. And when they aren’t asking questions, they repeat the rhymes taught in school, or tell stories—both real and imagined—of events in their day. It is evident that they don’t really know how to have a conversation like adults do. Fret not, they can definitely be taught to have engaging, two-way conversations. Here’s how.
1. Start easy – ask them specific questions about what they did in school
Put the typical “how was your day?” question to bed once and for all! After all, it garners no response other than a fine or okay. Instead, ask specific questions like, “Which class did you enjoy today?” to get a detailed account from your little one.
2. Make story time interactive
Pick books with dialogues as opposed to those with a narrator. Pretend to be one character, and ask your kid to pick a character himself. Then don’t just read aloud by yourself, make your kid read aloud as well. This activity will help your kid understand that conversations involve back and forth between two or more people, they are not one-sided.
3. Set a good example
Kids learn more by action than instructions. Be mindful of the way you talk around your kiddo. For instance, when you and your spouse are having dinner at the end of a long day, do you have the shortest conversations possible, if at all? Avoid this at all costs and spend at least a few minutes talking to each other, say something like why your day was good or bad, current events, etc.
4. Listen closely when your child talks
When your child is talking to you, ensure that you give him your full attention. Fiddling with your smartphone or watching TV while speaking with him will make him feel like what he is saying is not important enough. If you keep all distractions away and make good eye contact, your kid will feel encouraged to share his thoughts and feelings with you.
5. Find time to talk every day – practice is key here
No matter how busy or tiring your day gets, make some time to talk with your kid every single day, even if it is only for a few minutes. For easier conversations, try to pick topics that interest your kid. For example, if your child loves to draw, ask him what kind of things he likes to draw and why.
There! Follow these tips and you will be having colorful conversations with your child in no time!