Teaching Conversation Skills
Teaching your children good conversation skills is one of the most helpful and beneficial things you can do for them. Here are some practical, easy-to-use skills you can teach your child and practice together as a family:
To contribute to a conversation:
- Look at the person who is talking.
- Wait for a time when no one else is talking.
- Make a short, appropriate comment that is related to the topic that is being discussed.
- Choose words that will not offend or confuse others.
- After you've spoken, give other people a chance to talk.
To keep a conversation going:
- Maintain a relaxed but attentive posture.
- Nod your head to show you understand and to give ongoing encouragement to the person who is speaking.
- Ask follow-up questions that are related to what another person just said.
- Avoid fidgeting, looking away or yawning.
- Don't interrupt when another person is speaking.
- Take turns speaking during the conversation.
- Check to see if others understand what you have said.
To close a conversation:
- Change topics only when everyone appears to be finished talking about a particular issue.
- Change to a topic that somehow relates to the previous one.
- Give everyone a chance to talk about the new topic.
- Wait for a comfortable break in the conversation to leave.
Making Friends Is an Art! by Julia Cook
Why Don't They Like me? by Susan Sheridan, Ph.D.
Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In by Stephen Nowicki Jr., Ph.D. and Marshall Duke, Ph.D.
Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success by Marshall Duke, Ph.D., Stephen Nowicki, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Martin, M.Ed.
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