Years ago when I was a young mother, I was behind two teenagers at the pharmacy. When it was their turn with the pharmacist, they were unable to tell him what they needed. He told them to go get there mother.
Elena Neitlich, owner and CEO of Mom on Edge,LLC, said in her article Six Communnication Skills for Children, “Failing to teach proper communication skills could socially limit a child for a lifetime”. As I stood there at the pharmacy that day I could see this concept fully play out in these young ladies' lives. This sent me on my own journey to help our sons to be able to communicate, so they could be understood.
First, I started listening to what our sons were saying to me each day. I stopped and turned to them, so that I was mirroring good skills. When I didn't understand what they wanted, I asked open-ended questions to get information from them. This continued open dialogue.
Secondly, when we went to the grocery store, library, or other places and they wanted something, I always made them ask questions of others. This way they were building skills and cofidence at the same time.
Thirdly, my husband and I set good examples by asking questions of others, give good eye contacts and say please and thank you to each other and others people in our lives. In addition, we have listened to each other and have alawys treated each other with respect. This speaks volumes to children.
Our boys are almost grown now and have amazed me on their level of communication with others in their lives. These skill building exercises started when they were toddlers.