It never ceases to amaze me how most children can learn an entire language – or two or more – before age six. I’m decades older and still trudging through Level 1 French using Rosetta Stone (a great program, by the way!). Oh, to have my Absorbent Mind again, so I could simply soak up language from the environment, ideally, in Paris!
It’s because of this absorbent nature of the child’s mind that we encourage parents to provide a language-rich environment, including conversation, vocabulary, reading, and story-telling. But rarely do I hear the mention of effective communication skills! Needless to say, children are also absorbing the “how’s” of effective communication – or are they?
How many arguments, tears, and disappointments have resulted from verbal misunderstandings?
“I told you to clean up your room!”
“But I did!”
“No, you didn’t! Now stay here until it’s done!”
“But you promised that we’d go to the zoo this weekend!”
“No, I said I’d think about it.”
“But you promised!”
“The dog’s water bowl is empty again!”
Do any of these sound familiar? Maybe it’s time to take a look at your own communication skills to see if what you mean is what you actually say!
Next: Making Effective Requests