"Lisa, please pick up your room." "Eat your vegetables, Terry!" "Where are you going dressed like that?" "Did you do your homework?" "Please pick up your toys from the middle of the room before going to Tom’s house. "" It’s time to sleep now! "These are all comments and questions very necessary when raising a child. We parents use them, or similar comments, every day, and are important. Our children need to learn to follow directions, track commitments and take responsibility for their actions. It’s easy, however, forget that this kind of language does not help build the capacity of our children to converse and teach the skills required to be a good listener. After all, we are talking with the guys, right? Sometimes even to answer, and usually listen to and meet the things we’ve asked of them. Is not that enough? Frankly, no, it is not. Children need to learn to take direction, certainly, but also need to learn to take their end of a social conversation. This can only happen when they have had practice. The best place to get practice at home with caring adults and their siblings. Conversation is an art to be learned rather than instinctive response is going to happen naturally. First, it is important to define what is meant by "conversation." Conversation, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is "an informal exchange, which speaks of ideas and information." Note the word "exchange. "There are at least two parties to the talks! Both parties (or all) must have a hand in expressing their views, thoughts and ideas. That’s why previous comments are not really a conversation. When an adult is giving an order, suggestion, or reprimand a child, the opportunity for two-way communication is simply not available. If the child responds at all, he or she is expected to respond in a respectful and positive. Any comments or expressed negative thoughts that are contrary to the statement of adults are either ignored or punished. The situation does not leave many possibilities for the exchange of both sides. Instead, the conversation is what happens when an adult asks a child’s opinion on a matter of interest, really listens, and believes that the information conveyed. The conversation is more likely on the table, while driving or while working together on a mutually agreeable. Parents or caregivers to discuss issues, feelings, or other topics of more or less the same. Exchange ideas and thoughts with others in an uncritical and non-threatening. Conversation makes everyone feel a little better known and have had the opportunity to speak. It’s really an art form! Why are so important to learn conversational skills? In our society, people need to become proficient in conversation to be socially acceptable. Children need to learn to listen to the conversation, taking turns speaking in a proper way to respect the opinions and ideas of others, and take turns being in charge of the conversation. While driving my daughters a couple of weeks ago, I heard a very interesting "conversation" between the younger two. I put the word in quotes because it really only heard the conversation in the same loose sense of the word. Here’s a sample: "Guess what we are learning in science class" sounded a daughter number. "I had a horrible day today," said the daughter number two. "We are learning about magnets and their uses. We have to have magnets around the room and see so stick to them, "said a daughter number. "I forgot my gym clothes and then jammed the door of my local," replied the daughter number two. "I realized that magnets stick to some of the metal things, but nothing plastic, paper or fabric," said a daughter number. "So you think my teacher assigned us FIFTEEN geometry homework problems??" Moaned daughter number two. You can see that they were taking turns talking like a conversation, but it was as if they were miles away and talk to them. Neither showed the slightest interest in what the other had to say. They were so intent on getting their own messages that are completely forgot the listener component of talks indeed! Of course, both completed this exchange of feeling ignored and abused. They came to me separately later in the day and asked why his sister had been ignoring. It took a while to soothe hurt feelings, and take much longer to return to teach the concepts of the conversation I had thought he had mastered. listening skills are essential to the conversation. Without them, the conversations are disconnected and non-productive, like the previous example. Participants feel ignored and unknown, because they are ignored and unknown. The conversation is unsatisfactory for all concerned. The trick becomes to teach children to be better listeners. Listening is a learned skill, and your child can become a better listener with practice. Try to play games that require listening to spoken tracks like Twenty Questions, I Spy, and looks old, I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to take …. Each of these games encourages children to listen to the clues given and take turns talking and listening. Your child will also enjoy a treasure hunt music. Try making a list of common sounds, and send their players to listen to them. You may even want to build your sound detectives with a tape recorder to capture sounds that are looking for. Turn around this game, making recordings of common sounds and see if your child can identify them. Jokes and riddles also encourage the ability to take turns to speak. People have to listen and pay attention to what is said to understand what was funny. Jokes and riddles also imply a similar give and take conversation: one person talks and the other person responds. If your children take turns telling jokes to each other, they will be practicing skills that become valuable in the conversation. Another tool you can use to cultivate the skills of conversation is a choral reading. Choose a poem or a play and assign parts to each person. Have them read in turn, each picking up where the last left off. The child will have to pay close attention to language and tone signals to realize that each speaker is finishing her part, and also need to monitor what is said to be ready for you. The ability to lead and manage a conversation also improves the chance. This is a skill that can be built with direct practice: putting your child in charge of a section of conversation at a time when his family gathers for a meal or a trip. With a little notice, children can prepare questions and other conversation motivators to keep things running. Allow your child the privilege of choosing what is spoken of together, or even the dinner table. Note, however, what part of the conversation is being addressed by whom. You want to teach balance, everyone is entitled to take the conversation from time to time, and everyone has to pass that lead to others and avoid dominating the conversations. Respect for the opinions of others is perhaps the most difficult skill to instill in children. Natural being self-centered, young people have a particularly difficult time listening to different opinions. In fact, even young children may have difficulty understanding the difference between fact and opinion and the recognition of views, when they hear or express them. Teach your child this important gap by playing games. Try to make statements of fact and of mixed opinions. See if your children can find the opinions in the group. It could also show how the wording of the states can create bias. Find the partial declarations on news programs, newspapers and magazines. Is an important skill to develop! Be intentional about teaching their children the art of conversation. The skill is vital for social success and to build and maintain relationships that help us all to feel happy and successful. A little effort now, while they are young, they will receive rewards without limits when they occur.
- taragontia posted this