Staying home means more opportunities for conversations with your child. The good news is, you don’t need to be an expert on conversation starters with your child! Below are 5 tips to maximize your conversations together.
2. Cut back on the questions
To have great conversations with your child, reduce the number of questions you ask them. Try to avoid questions that ‘test’ or ‘check your child’s knowledge on a topic, an area, or a word. Instead, ask questions that show your interest in the topic you are speaking about, and that your child will enjoy responding to and telling you about.
3. Tell your child a short story
Research shows that when people hear a story, certain brain areas are activated, which make people experience being in that situation. As a result of this, we remember stories more than facts. So, try to tell your child a story. Your child will enjoy the experience more than if you were telling them a fact, and it is likely that your child will remember this story later in their life.
4. Listen more
The same principles apply here to having a conversation with an adult - listening makes you a better conversation partner. So, in your next conversation with your child, try to take a step back by saying less, waiting, and showing that you are listening. Also, remember those non-verbal cues of looking at your child, and avoiding distractions in the home or looking at your phone during the conversation. Your child will likely want to tell you more in response to this.
5. Model correct conversational communication
You are your child’s main language model, and conversations are a strong tool for stimulating your child's speech and language. In your next conversation, be sure to use an adult-like tone of voice, speak in complete sentences with correct grammar, and introduce a new word every now and then (try not to over do it with the frequency of new words). This will give your child a correct speech and language model during your conversations together.
The Expat Speechie
Chiman Estephan MSLP, MSPA, CPSP, ACAS
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