Five Tips for Parents to Develop Strong Speaking Skills in Children
Drama Kids of South Charlotte, part of an international franchise organization whose proven drama skills program builds communication skills and confidence in children, offers the following five tips for parents to help develop strong speaking skills in their children.
“Just like adults, children need strong communication skills to succeed in life,” said Bonnie Davidoff, who owns and operates Drama Kids of South Charlotte. “By learning to speak with confidence, children will excel at basic school activities, such as giving a report to the class, reading aloud in a group setting or participating in discussions. It’s never too early to start practicing communication skills. Later on, they can apply these skills to a job interview situation, or giving a presentation at a board meeting.”
Davidoff offers the following tips that parents can easily adopt at home to improve their children’s communication/speaking skills:
1) Listen to what your child is saying. Children must feel that what they say is important. Put down the paper, turn off the TV or car radio, and converse. Knowing that you are listening to them will reinforce their confidence in speaking to you and to others.
2) Practice developing strong eye contact. Require that your child look into your eyes whenever they speak to you. Then challenge them to do the same when talking to anyone else. Praise them when you see this happening.
3) Develop articulation. Use tongue twisters to emphasize articulation in a fun way. Concentrate on correct articulation. Do not allow the child to speak too fast at the cost of poor articulation
4) Ask open-ended questions that require more than a `yes’ or `no’ answer. For example – “Tell me more about…” or, “How did you feel when that occurred?” If you need a subject to discuss, perhaps read a small story to your child, then ask hypothetical questions about what might happen next, or which character they liked. Older children can be involved in discussing national news events, or school activities.
5) Don’t speak for your child. Encourage children to speak for themselves. Have children place their own orders at restaurants. The practice of speaking to others in a clear voice is well worth the extra time that it may take to get your food.
Drama Kids of South Charlotte is part of the largest after-school drama program in the world, with more than 40,000 students currently at its 1,000 plus locations both in the United States and internationally. (Include an embedded link to Drama Kids site).