Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Communication Skills (free app for parents)

Jun 19, 2013 by

TalkingTipslogoNew_orangeTips for Boosting Your Child’s Communication Skills

Submitted by Fiona Barry of Talking Tips for Kids

I’m often asked for my ‘top tips’ for helping children’s speech and language skills. So here they are, my five Top Tips:

1. Tune In

You need to tune into your child’s level of communication, even from birth, so that you can act as a responsive conversation partner. Follow your child lead’s in play and conversations and you’ll get so much more from your interaction with them.

[Related reading: Baby Play: It Happens]

2. Speak Up

It’s time to add some language in. Talk about the here and now with young children, if you See It – Say It! Find as many times in the day when you can chat as possible. Talk about what you can see out of the car window, chat about the washing as you hang it up or comment on what your child’s doing as they play. Make time for talk.

[Related reading: English Language Student: Progress Report]

3. Love Books, Love Learning

Nurture a love of reading in your child and you’ll set them up for being capable talkers, readers and writers as they grow up. To be able to read and write a child needs to be able to use and understand spoken language first. They also need to find reading and writing fun and exciting. You can make books the champion in the house instead of the TV or games console. Make book reading part of your family life.

[Related reading: Emergent Literacy Strategies to Use with Babies and Toddlers]

4. Songs For Today, Words For Life

Singing songs and nursery rhymes with your child, even from before birth, provides them with a great springboard into some of the underlying skills needed for learning to talk, read and write. Songs provide the perfect structure for learning language because they’re predictable and repetitive.  They help you to bond with your child and are excellent for soothing cross, upset or bored little ones. A song a day keeps the tears away.

[Related reading: Music Helps Language Development & Signing Helps with Language Development]

5. Listening Comes First

Communication is not just about talking. For a conversation to flow we need to listen to what the other person is saying. Children need to develop good attention and listening skills not only to learn new words and sentences but also to become good at conversations. Children learn by example so when we listen to children they learn how to be good listeners themselves.

[Related reading: L is for Language and Literacy Too]

I have developed and presented a series of videos which share a range of ‘parent-child interaction strategies’ (ways of talking with your child) that speech and language therapists use. These are essential for all children, with or without difficulties.

[Related reading: Let Your Child Have the Last Word]

The videos are packed full of useful tips to boost any child’s communication skills and are designed to be put into practice as part of families’ everyday routines at home. Download my free App on iTunes or visit my website TalkingTipsForKids.com

Small changes in how you communicate can make big changes in how your child communicates!
Words are free – but they’re also priceless.

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*No compensation was received in exchange for the posting of this article.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the link to your guest post on our blog! These are 5 great tips, and I think many of us parents need the reminder to be better listeners ourselves. 😉 Have a great week!

  2. I agree, Jenny. I’ve had to learn to listen more with all of my kids – and certainly with my teen – who wants/needs additional autonomy these days 🙂 Thanks for coming by to comment!

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