Listening and talking skills are the vital areas in the development of children. It is important to make children active listeners and speakers as not all children are inherently good listeners and speakers. Encouraging them to speak and listen in Early Years will help them in mere academic future. Talking and listening skills are more important for the children as they develop areas like physical, social, emotional, intellectual, language, verbal and vocabulary skills.
Talking and listening skills helps to promote various physical activities like Ear and mouth coordination as they listen by ears and talk by mouth. Talking with actions improve their body language.
Friendship and family are the strong source of one’s life. Children socialize themselves when they talk and speak. They observe how others communicate. They pay close attention to face expressions and vocal sounds. They help to improve empathy and problem-solving skills. Empathy is a skill which means how a child can imagine others feeling and thinking and how they can respond in a lovable manner. As children grows they build fight with their close friends, more than strangers as they spend more time with their close friends. But they learn to solve the problems as they value relationships. As a parent we can help them to learn collaborate, cooperate, negotiate and respect others.
Children do have tantrums and meltdown. Talking and listening skills helps children to get self-awareness, self-control and self-esteem. They do show big feelings like anger, cry, happiness, fear and excitement these communication skills helps them to calming down and controlling their emotions. Self-Awareness involves identifying one’s emotions.
Self-Control helps a child to control the emotions and exercise to manage their feelings. They help to develop the child’s behavior. They help to prevent stress and confusion. Talking and listening activities boosts children’s self-confidence as children try to communicate their feelings and thoughts positively.
Talking and listening activities fosters cognitive development of a child as it promotes knowledge of mathematics, science, technology and it improves their creativity and imagination. Mathematics skills like counting, shapes, size, measures, value of money etc. science and technology skills like talking about space, human body, plants, color mixing etc. fosters their intellectual imaginative minds.
Language and vocabulary Development
Talking and listening more and more helps children to develop their language and vocabulary skills. It helps them to learn new words. It helps them to develop grammar and reading ability. Teaching children in one or two languages helps them to speak in multi languages. It fosters literacy skills. If a child who is not listening and talking will lack in literacy skills as it becomes a hinder to his future academic life and even for his social day today life.
So, what is our Role in this?
The role of parents when talking and listening to children is to motivate, develop and improve their talking and listening skills. Some activities which boost children’s development includes:
- Good displaying model:
The vital aspect of learning to talk is proper listening. Children listen to new sounds and words in their surroundings. So, it is important to provide children good talk and sounds in order to listen. Talk to them slowly and pronounce the words correctly as they are listening. By listening they will attempt to replicate the word. Praise the children even if they don’t pronounce it right, as trying to pronounce is itself a big milestone in their life.
- Symbolic sounds:
These sounds are easy words to tell your children to pronounce as they are mostly one syllable words. Example: ‘Moo’ for cow, ‘beep’ for car. These are fun sounds, can be used when playing games. It is easy to pronounce. They motivate verbal, vocal, imitation and vocabulary skills.
- Encourage sound games:
Games plays a vital role in talking and listening skills of children. For instance, keep running race between children or if you have single child like me, let mother conduct the race father and child run or vice versa. Make them stand in the start line and say ready steady go. This will make children listen to the words ready steady go.
- Tempting to talk:
Make children getting tempted to talk by making them wait to something they need. Eagerness will make them to try to talk. Bring a favorite toy of the child, show him and don’t give him. First, he will try to get it from you then he will try to tell some words that he needs it. This way you can encourage a child to talk.
What I do is that, when my son desperately needs something like snacks, chocolate or something he likes, and he shows it in action. I will ask him what he needs until he tries to tell the name of it.
- Listen, observe and comment:
When children attempt to talk whether wrong or correct, first listen to them what they say, observe their expressions and emotions and then reply to them to build their new vocabulary.
- Stick to language level:
Early years are the age where the children inbuilt the language skill. In order to make them to go in a right path parents must mind their language level. They must speak in the language that children understand.
- Parents should make time to sit down with their child. As a quiet time improves the talking and listening skills of the child.
- Avoid Television, pacifiers, thumb sucking as this may cause delay in talking. You can’t avoid it totally because in today’s world technology is in priority in every thing we do. But you can limit it. And as far as pacifiers and thumb sucking there is no issue to do when they want to sleep. But they should not do it when they feel boredom.
- Reading books will develop children’s listening and talking skill by making them listen to the stories and express their view by talking.
- In all conversation make your child to lead the group as it may fosters him/her to express themselves by speaking out when they feel.
Lastly try them to make learn how to speak and listen and not to force them to do so.
Now Its your Turn
How are you making your kid to listen and talk with activities?
let me get a quick comment below.