Being able to effectively communicate is a must for any child, whether it is to simply have their voice heard or to properly learn in school. Some kids can be very bashful or struggle in communicating their thoughts or emotions, and it is up to us as parents to help them understand the importance of communicating and how best to express themselves.

Different Styles of Communication

Some children develop a wariness around communicating if it does not feel comfortable for them. If their peers are actively talking and gossiping all day long and your child is a little on the quiet side, they may not feel comfortable talking in case they say the wrong things and end up feeling ostracized. Most children learn to communicate while they grow up, usually from a combination of watching their family communicate and as they age, once they are in school. But communicating can come in different forms and ways of expression. 

A lot of body language can communicate feelings, so be sure to watch for any signs of discomfort or stress in your child. Children also love to “perform” their feelings, acting goofy when they are happy; performative communication is a great way for children to air out their feelings or excitement without having to actually use words. Some children learn to love the art of writing as a way to express their feelings. Your child may use poetry or journaling to let their thoughts fly instead of speaking them out loud. 

Giving Them a Chance

There really isn’t a right or wrong way to communicate, just a different style to communication. We as parents may want our child to always be talking and explaining how they feel, but that may not be possible (or comfortable) for them to do. You always want to be respectful of their style of communication, while also poking here and there to have them communicate a little bit outside of their norm. Sometimes it is good for your child to take a step out of their comfort zone, but remember not to push them too much either. This is who they are as a person and should be respected. If your child feels like they are too shy or bashful (or whatever their communication style may be) and want to change, then you can certainly help them gain more confidence in speaking up. But if they are content with the communication style they have, then make sure to embrace it!

Kaite Kyzivat