Sunday, 30 September 2012

What can I do to encourage conversation?

  • At mealtime, include your child in family conversation by encouraging your child to talk about what happened in school and listen as family members talk about their experiences. Cue your child to look at the speaker’s face. Eliminate as much background noise as possible. If your child has difficulty following or adding to a conversation appropriately, recap by speaking in short sentences with expression.
  • Play games that require the players to use logic, strategies, and problem-solving. Spelling and vocabulary games are good. Games in which no one “loses” are best.
  • Encourage the habit of making lists for a variety of purposes such as groceries, chores, and homework assignments. This helps to develop planning and organizational skills.
  • Encourage your child to plan what to wear for the next day. Help the child to select clothes that are appropriate. Explain why some combinations may not match, and show your child other combinations that go well together. Let your child help select new clothes.
  • Play the telephone game. One child whispers a secret to the next child, who whispers the secret to the next child, and so on.
  • Watch good ½ hour television programmes that involve characters and plot development with your child. At the end of the program, discuss with your child opinions, solutions to problems, sequence of events, character flaws, poor choices made by characters, and alternative endings.
  • Play games in the car that involve identification, for example finding license plates with particular letters or numbers. Ask riddles and sing silly songs.
  • Talk to the child about listening for words that give order clues, words such as “now,” “later,” “after,” and “before.”
  • When reading stories, ask the child to recap what was heard, after a page or two. At the end of the story, ask the child to summarize the entire story (Kelly, D.A., 1995).


  1. Great ways to communicate - all of them. I did not stop talking to my kids when they were young and still do. They are confident and able to speak up and enjoy good conversation. I think the talking helped.

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