Nurturing your child’s language skills is critical. Having your child be comfortable and confident expressing themselves verbally is something that all parents strive for. This of course will not happen overnight and needs to be deliberately encouraged and nurtured. It also doubles as an incredible way to become closer to your children. Here are ten fun ways to nurture your child’s language skills.
Do you really know your child’s likes or dislikes? You probably know their food aversions, favourite colours, books, games, and TV shows, but what about some of the things you’re less involved in. What about their favourite Minecraft world? Their favourite instrument to play during music class? Their favourite friend at an after-school activity. Use these activities as conversation starters. Allow them to lead the conversation, asking deeper and genuine questions. Remember it’s a conversation, not an interrogation.
In the same vein, what are their habits? What do they enjoy talking about? If you don’t know, then it’s time to get to know them a little better. Listen to their answers to understand, not to respond. Ask them to tell you when they enjoy something or when it matters to them. Do they enjoy going to the park? What sports do they like playing? What books do they like reading? Do they like going outside to play or do they prefer indoor games?
If we don’t focus on what our children love and have an interest in, they won’t be as likely to open up about what they love. In the future, this could result in your child being afraid to tell you what they’re passionate about. Always be interested in their interests. This will create a deeper connection between you and your child.
Is Your Child an Introvert?
Sometimes, the world can be a scary place for introverted children. We live in an extroverted society so it may take some time for our kids to adapt. Always reassure your child that you love them no matter who they are. If they are quiet, that’s okay. There’s no pressure for them to be the class clown or the loudest person in the room.
Encourage your child to speak up by starting slow at home. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings. As they grow, they will become more comfortable in places with many people, special occasions or work-related challenges. Tell your child that they are doing a great job as listeners, observers and hard workers. After all, that’s what’s special about introverts!
Cozy time is one of the best ways you and your child become closer. Take about 25 minutes before their bedtime to snuggle up to them. Without screens, get comfortable and cozy. Talk to them about their day and ask them to explain the activities they did or the people they met. This quiet time is a special way for your child to open up to you about many topics. Even topics they may be too shy to talk about in front of others. A great opening question is “what was the best part of your day?” This prompts good memories and often opens the door for discussions about what didn’t go so well.
Keep in mind, school or playing with friends and siblings may tire your child out. Don’t pressure them to continue a conversation or talk about something they aren’t ready to. Patience is key, but ensure you always carve out some time for them to express themselves if they’d like.
If you could use some support with your child’s sleep and bedtime, you can book a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our baby sleep experts (and not just for babies – WeeSleep helps children up to 9 years old!).