I cannot stress enough the importance of Communicating with Confidence for Children. Children who are adept at communicating with confidence do much better at university and build other essential life skills such as ‘storytelling’ in order to get their point across more effectively.
On the other hand, young children who struggle to communicate or don’t understand the right body language and voice control to get their point across can often resort to bad behaviour. This is especially true for children with special needs. In fact, a lack of speaking with confidence has often been linked to mental health issues in children, especially as they transition to adults and get ready to step into professional life.
Therefore, it’s important for parents to understand the value of building vital skills in their children, two of which are communicating with confidence and storytelling – in order to not just become more effective communicators, but also cope and survive better in life.
Why do children need life skills like Communicating with Confidence early on?
As parents, you may have noticed how children sometimes take their time learning to communicate, use the appropriate body language to relay their needs, thoughts or opinions, or use the proper voice control to convince others about how they feel around a certain topic, for example.
Many children are slow to develop and use a limited range of words, while not speaking in complete sentences and often at times, some even make only noises, rather than express what they mean in words. An increase in behavioural incidents is often due to a lack of confidence – parents must act fast because these behaviours (such as social withdrawal or not expressing concerns in an emergency) may lead to mental health problems later on in life. Children who are unable to express themselves with confidence find it very difficult to have an engaging conversation with other children and adults alike.
Unfortunately, children with special needs tend to suffer the most. Unless parents, teachers and mentors alike take the necessary steps to address these communications issues early on, it could lead to a lot of undue suffering for the child, particularly as he/she transitions to adulthood and sets foot into the world of work.
Now that we have identified this pressing issue, what can parents do to address it? As a public speaking expert (among other things), here are two things I can recommend (for starters):
Show them the art of starting conversations and storytelling
You need to let your child know about the ways to start an engaging conversation. For example, model phrases which they can easily use to get a conversation going, while also ensuring that they understand the phrase which applies to any given situation. For example, on introductions: “Hi, my name is Ben. What’s yours?”
Furthermore, teaching your child to describe their experiences through storytelling can really build their confidence, when they’re communicating in a room full of people. You can start by telling them something from your childhood, and then tell them “now it’s your turn”.
Ask them to voice their opinion
Giving your child choices can make them feel really empowered and increase skills for communicating with confidence for children. Talk about the simple things – like the kind of cereal they enjoy having and or perhaps why they blue instead of red on their bed linens. Talking about personal matters will boost their confidence and also teach them a thing or two about voice control and body language to better express themselves.
If your child suffers from any confidence or self-esteem issues, it’s important that you address them early. Our children deserve to be “someone” in life, and therefore, building the right life skills from an early age is absolutely critical – even more so for those beautiful souls with special needs.
I’m available on +44 (0)7940715666 for an initial consultation where I’d be happy to demonstrate how I help school-going children boost their confidence to become more effective speakers and communicators.