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The Art of Holiday Conversation for Kids

The easiest way to get kids accustomed to speaking to others, whether it be fellow kids or adults, is to talk with your kids often. By often I mean all day, every day, at every opportunity.

One great place to utilize conversation learning on a daily basis is the dining table. Because we are a society of multi-taskers a family can eat, get a handle on table manners and learn the art of conversation all at the same time. If you, as an adult, don't feel you're much of a conversationalist have no fear. With kids you don't have to say much. All you need to do is learn to ask the right questions.

Begin by asking your kids about themselves. You can start with, "What's the coolest thing you did today?" While they answer your question show enthusiasm in their descriptions and maintain eye contact with them. Chew with your mouth closed and encourage them to talk when they aren't actually eating. Don't interrupt them, but ask at least one follow-up or clarification question. You could say, "Wow, sounds like you really enjoyed riding your bike today. Is there somewhere you'd like to ride to with me sometime?"

If you have more than one child ask similar questions to each one. Allow them to answer. Show interest. Make eye contact and make sure the other siblings are listening and not interrupting.

The Holiday Season, while exciting for kids, can create a plethora of challenges for the little guys; itchy outfits, constricting ties and tight shoes to start with. Throw in a Great Aunt Flossie who wants to know all about pre-school and suddenly kids lose their enthusiasm.

These conversation tips are the first steps to teaching your child how to feel comfortable speaking to others. First you are establishing eye contact. This is something when they see it done by you, they will do the same. Second, if at the dining table you are teaching manners by not chewing with your mouth full and encouraging others around the table to do the same. Finally you are teaching them the valuable skill of asking questions about others. The easiest conversation starter of all is to ask a question about the other person.

Teaching the art of conversation to the young is incredibly important. Eventually, as kids get older, they all get quiet and sullen. If they are schooled on how to talk and ask questions at an early age, they will be less likely to clam up.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Plancich. All rights reserved.
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