Why do adults feel that their children should learn the art of communication but think parents learning public speaking is not essential?
We often reach a certain age and believe that our communication skills are set in stone.
There’s nothing more to learn. We’re able to hold a conversation, give a short presentation and make an argument when debating with friends and family.
What more is there for parents to learn about public speaking and communication?
The truth is that you should always be working on your communication skills whatever age you are. Parents learning public speaking is essential! Especially if you have children, it can help you understand their struggles as they grow up and start to learn about the world around them.
It can certainly help you better support them to become great storytellers and communicators.
Why? Communication skills and building relationships are two of the biggest factors that ensure success in later life and the two are closely linked. The better you can help your child develop in this area, the more chances you are giving them to succeed and, above all, be happy.
Learning Better Communication Early is Important
A couple of years back, a white paper was produced for the Government that looked at the importance of language and communication skills on life chances.
The report outlined that children who struggled to learn basic skills such as communication were likely to continue to have lower literacy levels throughout life and were more likely to suffer mental health problems and fewer job opportunities as they reached adulthood.
This is why it’s a good idea for parents to ‘revisit’ their own communications skills and update them if necessary.
Why Children Struggle with Communication
Of course, sometimes the lack of conversation is intentional. Many have suffered the ignominy of a teenager that communicates in grunts and sighs or a preschooler who doesn’t want to speak.
Children can struggle with their communication skills for a variety of different reasons, however:
- A child may be anxious about what they say and have a fear of speaking to more than one person.
- They could be too impulsive, not know when to stop talking, getting their words wrong because they’re trying to speak too quickly.
- They might have trouble constructing a story or putting forward an argument because they don’t know the rules.
- It could be that they just don’t know how to tell you something.
- It could be a simple case of not being confident when they are trying to talk about certain subjects.
The Benefits of Parents Learning Public Speaking
You’ve been doing it for 20 to 30 years or more, so why should you have a second thought about your communication skills as a parent?
The truth is that we tend to shut up shop and take our speaking ability for granted after a while – after all, there’s so much else to do in life.
Learning a new skill like public speaking, however, can make you more aware of your own ability. Parents play a vital role in the development of their children. How kids move forward, create new relationships in later life and build career opportunities largely depends on their relationship with their parents.
It’s no surprise that the children of poor communicators often tend to be poor or average communicators themselves.
Public speaking also gives you a great new life skill that you can use in other situations. For example, it can improve your chances at work – you’ll be able to give better presentations and even talk to large audiences with more confidence. You’ll be great at that interview for promotion. You’ll certainly be able to do that big speech at a family event such as a wedding or funeral.
Storytelling and Communication with Confidence
Public speaking is a great skill to develop because it not only improves your relationships but makes you into a better storyteller too. It also helps you look at your child’s communication in a new and more positive light, giving you ideas on how to support them better.
Would you like to find out more? Take a look at my public speaking workshops and courses for adults and children here.