Questions to Promote Communication in Kids

Questions to Promote Communication in Kids

Communication in kids is fundamental to children’s development. Your children need to understand and be understood. Communication in kids is the foundation of relationships and is needed for learning, play, and social interaction.

Communication with children: why it’s important

  • Helps children feel safe and secure in their worlds.
  • Builds and strengthens a child’s relationship with their parents and carers.
  • To grow and develop skills, children require safety and strong relationships.  That’s why communicating well with children is essential to development.

Know more about communication development in children:https://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/kindergarten/

Good communication with kids: what is it?

Good communication is:Communication

  • Giving your child your attention when you’re communicating with each other
  • Encouraging your child to talk with you about what their feeling and thoughts
  • Knowing what your child can understand and how long they can pay attention.
  • Focusing on body language as well as words so you can really understand what your child is trying to express
  • Asking questions to improve communication in kids.

You must be thinking, how do we use questions to facilitate communication in kids? There are different types of questions that can be used to improve communication in kids.

  1. Question: ‘What’

The child can be asked ‘What’ when you need information about something. It can be used for nouns such as names, and objects, action verbs & time. Also, use the ‘What’ question when you need your child to repeat something.

Examples: 

Parent: “What is the girl doing?”

Nirvaan: “The girl is dancing”

Parent: “What is she wearing?”

Nirvaan: “She is wearing a saree”

  1. Question: ‘Where’

You can ask your child this question when are asking about a place or position. It may be a place in the house or on the map. In doing so you also can work on the adverbs of place such as ‘inside’, ‘outside’, ‘away’ etc.

Examples: 

Parent: “Neha, where did you keep your bicycle?”

Neha: “I left it outside the garage, Mama”

Parent: “Can you please keep it inside the garage?”

Neha: “Yes mama”

  1. Question: ‘When’

You can ask your child this when you are teaching them the concept of time.

Example: 

Aunt: “Risa, when is your birthday?”

Risa: “It’s on 14th January, Aunty.”

Aunt: “Oh that’s lovely!! When are you going to invite your friends?”

Risa: “I will send them tomorrow aunty.”

  1. Question: ‘Which’

Ask your child this question when you are giving them options. This makes your child think & make a decision about what choice they want to make.

Example:

Aliyah: “Mama, I want that chocolate”

Parent: “Which one dear?”

Aliyah: “I want the biggest one”

Parent: “Okay, I will buy it”

  1. Question: ‘Who’

Use this question when you are asking what or which person or people (subject).

Example:

Parent: (Showing a picture of Mira’s grandfather)

            “Who is this Mira?”

Mira: “It’s grandpa!!!!”

Parent: “Yes, that’s grandpa. Who is sitting beside grandpa?”

Mira: “That’s grandma!!”

  1. Question: ‘Whose’

You can use this question when you are asking about ownership.

Example:

Parent: “Whose toy is this?”

Sheena: “It’s mine”

Raveena: “No, it’s mine mummy”

Parent: “Ok tell me the truth. Whose toy is this?”

Raveena: “It’s Sheena’s”

  1. Question: ‘Why’

You can use this question when asking for a reason.

Example:

Parent: (Reading from a storybook)

            “Did you like the story?”

Missy: “No!!”

Parent: “Why not?”

Missy: “I want a Princess story!!”

Parent: “Okay, let’s read Cinderella’s story.”

  1. Question: ‘How’

The ‘How’ question can be asked for information about asking about manner (“How does this work?”) and about condition or quality (“How was your day?”). It can also be asked as to how long, how much, how many, how old, etc.

How to ask these questions?

It is important to remember, not to bombard your child with question after question thinking that this will build high language skills. Think of yourself as a model and conversation partner, not a tester.

These questions will teach your child how to think “hard” and reason for themselves.

  • Keep it simple.

It may be any task or household chore that you are doing. Involve your child in the task and ask simple questions as you are doing it. Remember, one question at a time.

  • Don’t force it.

Sometimes you may notice that your child doesn’t want to respond. Your child may not be in the mood to talk about silly things. Be patient & support your child in silence, this can send a powerful message of care and love.

  • Eye contact is optional.

Many times, children may be involved in some other activity or might just not want to sit. Use this time to do movement-based activities like bike riding, taking a walk, or riding in the car as opportunities for conversation.

  • Ask the right questions.

Open-ended questions keep the conversation going. They simply cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or a “no.” Instead of asking “Did you have fun at school today?’, try asking “What did you do at school today” and watch out for those answers rolling in !!! Use these questions to explore things you may have never discussed before.

  • Watch your response.

Your child may get demotivated if you use all the time for teaching, correcting, criticism, or unfriendly sarcasm. Limit yourself from doing these things & support teaching through activities that normally happen around you.

  • Be genuinely curious. 

Kids grow up so fast, it may seem like they were a baby just yesterday. Take a genuine interest in actually asking these questions & communicate with them. They know when we’re faking interest. If they give an interesting or unusual answer, follow up with, “Why?” or “Tell me more about that.” or “I had no idea, thanks for sharing!”

  • Listen to your child.

If your child is talking, listen to them!! Put down your phone or whatever you are doing.  Focus on what they’re saying. Building their trust on fun questions like the ones above may help them feel safe enough to open up about bigger topics.

Creative questions to ask during a Bedtime Talk: https://1specialplace.com/2018/01/31/bedtime-talk-building-your-childs-creative-langauge/

Questions to ask during sensory activities: https://1specialplace.com/2018/02/01/how-sensory-activities-promote-speech-language-development/?v=c86ee0d9d7ed

 

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