Three practical tips for helping your child develop communication skills

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It's up to parents to create opportunities for their young ones to develop their conversation skills.
It's up to parents to create opportunities for their young ones to develop their conversation skills.

Yes, it's true what the experts say: each child develops on their own timeline and at their own pace. 

However, according to Andy Bassingthwaighte, Director at Children's Education Group, if started at a young age, parents can create opportunities for their little ones to develop their conversation skills. 

Bassingthwaighte provided these 3 easy methods that parents of children even younger than 6 years of age can use to open lines of communication with their preschoolers. 

1. Repeat statements that your little one makes 

Let your children tell you what they want to tell you and simply affirm what they are saying by repeating it. 

For example:

Little one: I drew a picture! This is a cat. 

Parent: You drew a picture! And here is the cat.

Also see: Getting kids to do household chores can improve their vocabulary and willingness to learn

2. Make observations of what your little one is doing

Verbally acknowledge what your little one is doing by making observations. 

For example, the parent could say, "I see you painted a picture" or "You just kicked the ball!"

3. Make use of open-ended questions

Open-ended questions cannot typically be answered by a 'yes' or 'no'. 

Open-ended questions can contain phrases such as "Tell me about..." or "Tell me more". 

By asking open-ended questions, your preschooler is encouraged to be the driver of the conversation. 

For example, the parent could say, "I see you painted a picture, tell me about it".

Though Bassingthwaighte acknowledges that this process may be a struggle at first, she says that with time and practice, it becomes worthwhile.

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