How to Develop Your Child’s Communication Skills – Things They Don’t Learn in School

2016.06.30

Humans require various knowledge and skills to live in the daily world.
One of the most important skills required are “communication skills”.

Both children and adults need to relate to others to survive. Whether you can effectively communicate with others is a very important skill to have during your long life.

The Importance of Communication Skills

Communication skills can be defined as “being able to respect someone’s personality and way of thinking” and “being able to form successful relationships with others”.

With the growth of globalization and the information driven society in recent years, communication skills will become more and more important for survival.
Within a corporate environment, whether an individual can form harmonious personal relationships will influence his or her evaluation and his or her work in general.

This is not something that only relates to the adult world.
From as far back as I can remember, children make friends and hold a feeling of camaraderie and are taught by their teachers about the importance of communication skills.

Our Children’s Communication Skills are in Danger!

Although communication skills are becoming more and more important in our society, it is said that children today are having a hard time developing them.

Children today are spending less time outside playing and are instead hanging out at home playing electronic games.
As a result, their opportunities to relate to other people are also decreasing.
Due to the declining birth rate and an aging population and the current trend toward the nuclear family, opportunities to hang out with relatives and close friends other than parents are also decreasing.

In addition, with the increased usage of cell phones and PCs, children from as young as elementary school, are using email and SNS to contact their friends.
This causes a further decrease in opportunities for direct communication and negatively affects the development of communication skills.
If this lack of direct communication continues until they are in junior high school and high school, children will be fear direct person-to-person communication which can lead to isolation and bullying.

How to Enhance Your Child’s Communication Skills

What at-home activities are available to help enhance your child’s communication skills from a young age? We will introduce a few specific examples below.

Listen carefully to what your child says

Through communication with their parents (the people that they spend the most time with when they are young), children learn a lot of things and expand on their communication skills.
Therefore, when your child is speaking listen to him/her carefully using listening sounds and show that you are interested in what they are saying.
Please be careful about being the only one to talk and not giving your child the opportunity to put in a few words.
Children who grow up in this environment will tend to become silent and have a hard time to communicating their feelings to others.

Give your child a lot of opportunities to interact with various people

Giving your child the opportunity to interact with people of various cultures, genders and ages will help your child expand his/her communication skills.
Please try to arrange play dates or attend classes with children of his/her age and also allow him/her to interact with adults other than family and relatives.
Through interaction with others, he/she will learn naturally what actions are not acceptable, what makes others angry or happy.

Empathize with your child’s feelings

An important part of communication is “thinking about another person’s feelings and empathizing with them”.
The ability to empathize with another person’s feelings and cooperate with him/her comes from having experience taking one’s feelings seriously.

To encourage your child to respect another person’s feelings it is important for parents to set an example by empathizing with their child’s feelings.
The feeling of excitement that comes from someone empathizing with them will help them when they try to empathize with someone else.

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