The importance of children developing good communication skills
The ability to communicate effectively is a key skill, and the better we are at it, the better our quality of life will be.
We begin communicating from the moment we are born; letting our mothers know we have arrived with our first cry. As a child develops, it is important we nurture their communication skills so they are capable of expressing themselves, clearly and confidently, in all aspects and areas of their life.
If we consider the stages of a child's development: they communicate first with their parents, then with siblings and friends, and then with other adults such as their school teachers.
A child will learn to communicate by watching and listening to their parents, and then mimicking their words and actions; the more you communicate with your child, the earlier and quicker they will develop these skills.
Reading is a great activity to help improve your child's communication proficiency; it develops their language acquisition and introduces them to a range of vocabulary, helping them to communicate with ease and clarity. As they get older, reading together provides an excellent opportunity for discussion, creating an environment where a child can comfortably and confidently get used to articulating and sharing their ideas.
Through interaction and play with siblings and friends, a child will develop social skills and interpersonal skills alongside their communication skills. These skills will make them feel at greater comfort in social situations, where they will find it easier to strike up conversations with peers, and make new friends. Through these relationships, they will also hone their listening skills as well as their ability to empathise and interpret non-verbal communication cues.
When a child begins school, presentations, class discussions, dramatisations, and oral exams will become regular activities for them, all of which will call directly upon their verbal communication skills; likewise, they may, as part of the application process, have to go along to an interview when applying to a secondary school or sixth form. In these situations you will want a child to feel confident, not only speaking in front of a crowd or meeting a new acquaintance, but also assured in their own ability to converse fluently and make a good impression.
A child who is good at communicating verbally will find it easier to produce written communications, and thus will likely perform better in their school exams and written assignments.
Looking to their future, being able to communicate with employers is crucial, no matter what industry or career you are in. Good communication skills are listed amongst the most desirable skills on nearly every job specification, and will give you an advantage over your colleagues when competing for additional responsibilities.
Being able to deliver instructions, lead meetings, carry out presentations and liaise with clients, consumers, suppliers etc., are just some of the communication skills needed to successfully gain those bigger opportunities.
Like any skill, communication skills can be developed and refined with practice, but by helping develop good communication skills in a child from their youth, you are equipping them straight away with the skills to build a successful future.