Hello and welcome to the first article in the 5 part series: 5 Keys to Even Better Communication with your Child.
Over the next 5 posts I’ll cover 5 key strategies that will help you have even better conversations with your children. I reckon if you are reading this, you’re doing great already & curious about adding to your skill set as a parent. We need tricks up our sleeves! So this series is geared towards children who are using at least 2-3 words together from about 2 & 1⁄2 years onward. I’ll be doing another series for children who are not yet talking or whose first words are just beginning to appear so be sure to stay tuned!
Okay, let’s get started.
First up is slowing down. Now, there are individual & cultural differences here in relation to rate. I’m a fast talker. I’m also a speech and language therapist & a lecturer so I have to remember to slow down regularly! As strategies go, this is easy enough to do when you do it for a short burst. 1 minute is definitely doable & then you can gradually increase the length of time.
So how do you actually do it? Well, you just need to remember to pause a lot. The trick is you want to sound unhurried but natural at the same time. (Contradictory? I know! ☺) But here’s how you do it:
• You can wait a few seconds to say something after your child has taken their turn in the conversation.
• You could count to 5 slowly before you take your turn.
It also helps to try and a have a slow pace in general. It’s hard to talk slowly if you’re rushing. (Not easy I know when you’re trying to get out the door to make it to school on time!) But pressure really doesn’t lead to good conversation.
And now for the challenge..:
First of all, you have to work out if your rate is fast. Maybe people have commented to you. I notice my little girl sometimes says ‘Say it again mama, loud’. But I figured out that what she really means is ‘Slow down’!
- Pick a time that suits your situation. Maybe over dinner or when reading a story that you are very familiar with- you know the one you’ve read so often that you could recite it without any book! Practice pausing where it’s natural, for example:
- It’s most natural at the end of a sentence if you are reading a book.
- It’s also natural to pause after asking a question.
- Or you could pause after your child says something to you.
Best to pick one & try that one first. Then the next time, you can try a different one.
Please let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below. If you like this post, please pass it on!