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What is a good way for children to work on their communication skills?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 8, 2008

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Photo of Sara Hilliard

“I think team sports are a great way. I think they help you learn good communication skills and how to work with other people.”

Photo of Matt Hoffman

“I think parents should encourage their children to play rhyming and word games to get their creativity going.”

Photo of Benjamin Wilson

“Getting involved in school organizations or clubs where you have to work with people in meetings and committees.”

Photo of Donna Neuenswander

“I think the best way is for parents to talk with them and read to them as much as possible because they want to imitate what mom and dad do. And believe it or not, kids get really excited about poetry and rhyming.”

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Flap Doodle 9 years, 9 months ago

Climbing into trees and imitating howler monkeys. If that's not practical, posting on LJW.

sunflower_sue 9 years, 9 months ago

I thought I was communicating with a girl that was backing her large truck out of a parking space the other day. If she saw my car behind her, she wasn't shy in the least about moving me out of the way. I gave her a (very quick) two taps on the horn as if to say: "Hey! I'm just letting you know I'm back know, before you have to pay a big insurance deductible and all." She got stopped and then effectively communicated to me (via hand signals) just what she was thinking. Maybe I missed something??? Lost in translation?

trinity 9 years, 9 months ago

for communication skills with each other, esp. siblings(who may be finding it hard to get along)-handcuff 'em together until they work it out.for communication with adults? see R_I's recommendation. ;)

ms_canada 9 years, 9 months ago

Well, for one thing, I don't think that text messaging will help at all. I read the related article and found it quite interesting. Kids are all so different. Some are naturally quiet and somewhat shy. I was like that as a grade oner. If anyone even looked at me, I practically fainted. It took a long time to get over that and I eventually became just the opposite. I got into a lot of trouble at school for talking in class. Kids in those days were not allowed to talk much. I certainly hope that things are different these days. Some parents, I believe, do not communicate with their kids overly much. Do not read to them, do not tell them stories. I have worked with children and find that the ones with the better communication skills are the ones with parents that pay attention to them and talk to them. You'd be surprised how many children are just ignored by their parents a lot of the time. And sometimes they can't be blamed too much as they are genuinely busy. So many moms are working. So, what I am saying is that good communication skills start in the home.

JohnBrown 9 years, 9 months ago

The first lesson everyone needs to know about communication is that the sender's 'meaning' of the message is not conveyed in the message itself.Rather, 'meaning' is applied by the recipient of that message, based on their knowledge (or lack thereof) of language, vocabulary, and nuance. Hence, good communication requires a common 'pre-instruction' on the meanings and usages of words and vocabulary. (as an aside, the pre-instruction for the 'meaning' of body language is probably genetic.) My guess is that about 80% of all communications problems arise when people lack shared word definitions because of a lack of common 'pre-instruction'.For example: Ä n bic choi Co-thung?

terrapin2 9 years, 9 months ago

Oh yeah-Communication skills- Kids need to be exposed to all kinds of social settings. Not just kid friendly all the time so they can learn how to behave. Also, talk, talk, talk, to them from the very beginning. And not in baby talk.

labmonkey 9 years, 9 months ago

No baby talk. Talk to them as you would a normal person. Parents who talk baby-talk need to be kicked in the head.

dminear60 9 years, 9 months ago

I am more interested in how to get them to be quiet! I have two adolescent girls that never stop communicating!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years, 9 months ago

Teach them to speak only when ASKED to speak!~) Otherwise, they should be relegated to writing down their thoughts. Those scribbles should be torn to shreds and not acknowledged if there contain any errors other than those determined to be ultra-creative in spelling and/or grammar!~)Can you tell that I've never had kids?~)

terrapin2 9 years, 9 months ago

Pywacket- I had a psycho do an illegal turn in front of me from a non-turn lane and almost run into me. I of course honked to let him know I was there and to say "hey idiot, watch out" . He then proceeded to pull up next to me with my 2 children in the back and threaten to kill me. He pointed his finger (like a gun) at me, mouthed the words "I'm going to kill you" and then pretended to take 2 more shots at my children. He was VERY creepy and it really scared me. I can handle a flip off situation but this was different. I went home and called the police and they took a report that will be attached to his license number so if he does something like that again, they will see that he is a repeat offender. I was pleased at the way the police handled the situation. The officer told me this wasn't the first time he had done it, but I didn't want to make a formal complaint and have the jerk know where I live.

sunflower_sue 9 years, 9 months ago

Get them summer jobs working as a telemarketer.

yeah_right 9 years, 9 months ago

I think my kids communicate a little too well. My 3-year-old told me the other day that I was "pissing him off." Oops!

Ceallach 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree with ms_c, parents communicating with their children is of major importance.Ironic isn't it? We spend the first two years teaching them to walk and talk, and the next 16 telling them to sit still and shut up :)sue, I'm sure she was just trying to communicate how thankful she was for your help. Poor thing never developed her communication skills.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

Toss their rap CDs into the trash. Sorry, but it was the first thing I thought of.

deskboy04 9 years, 9 months ago

Have them take debate or forensics in high school. Both schools have excellent programs. These classes are as valuable as any AP course that they could take.

H_Lecter 9 years, 9 months ago

I (would) usually start with a Botox cocktail to paralyze the vocal chords...but that's just me.

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