Parenting is hard enough without having to worry about how to communicate with children effectively. It seems like every day they’re changing and growing, which can make it difficult to know what strategies will work best. Thankfully, we’ve put together this handy guide that outlines the best ways to communicate with children at every stage of development. Keep reading to learn more!
0-2 Years Old
At this age, children are just beginning to figure out how the world works. They’re starting to understand that words have meaning, but they don’t yet have the ability to communicate verbally.
The best way to communicate with them is through simple commands and short phrases paired with lots of facial expressions and gestures. This will help them start to understand the meanings of words and how they can be used.
3-5 Years Old
Three-to-five-year-olds are in what’s known as the “preoperational” stage of development. This means that they’re starting to understand that symbols (like words) can represent objects or ideas. They’re also beginning to be able to think logically about some things, but they still struggle with others.
The best way to communicate with them is by using short sentences and concrete examples. Avoid using phrases like “I’ll bet you’re wondering why I’m asking you this” or “You must be feeling X right now” because they won’t be able to understand these concepts yet.
6-8 Years Old
Six-to-eight-year-olds are in the “concrete operational” stage of development, which means that they can think logically about concrete objects and ideas. They still have trouble understanding abstract concepts, but they’re starting to be able to see both sides of an issue and consider different points of view.
The best way to communicate with them is by using clear language and concrete examples. It’s also important to avoid overwhelming them with too much information at once. Break things down into small, manageable chunks so that they can process it all more easily.
9-11 Years Old
Nine-to-eleven year olds are in the “formal operational” stage of development, which means that they can think abstractly and reason through problems systematically. They’re able to see multiple sides of an issue and consider different points of view.
The best way to communicate with them is by using clear language and logical explanations. It’s also important not to dismiss their feelings or experiences. Let them know that you understand how they’re feeling even if you don’t necessarily agree with their perspective.
Now that you know a little bit more about how children develop communication skills, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice! Remember that every child is unique and will require a different approach depending on their age and stage of development.
The Manthan School Greater Noida West encourages parents to keep the lines of communication open, be patient, and try their best. Parenting is hard enough without having to worry about perfection.