Communication Skills: Did You Really Mean What I Heard You Say?

It never ceases to amaze me how most children can learn an entire language – or two or more – before age six.  I’m decades older and still trudging through Level 1 French using Rosetta Stone (a great program, by the way!).  Oh, to have my Absorbent Mind again, so I could simply soak up language from the environment, ideally, in Paris!

It’s because of this absorbent nature of the child’s mind that we encourage parents to provide a language-rich environment, including conversation, vocabulary, reading, and story-telling.  But rarely do I hear the mention of effective communication skills!   Needless to say, children are also absorbing the “how’s” of effective communication – or are they?

How many arguments, tears, and disappointments have resulted from verbal misunderstandings?

“I told you to clean up your room!”

“But I did!”

“No, you didn’t!  Now stay here until it’s done!”

“But you promised that we’d go to the zoo this weekend!”

“No, I said I’d think about it.”

“But you promised!”

The dog’s water bowl is empty again!”

Do any of these sound familiar?  Maybe it’s time to take a look at your own communication skills to see if what you mean is what you actually say!

Next:  Making Effective Requests

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