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Building Conversation Skills Because “You Are What You Say”

by Eddie Rayner

by Nour Khouri 

Don’t hesitate to get started early with your children on conversation skills. As they begin to understand the reciprocal nature of thoughtful conversation, they’ll develop sensitivity toward others and be confident in new situations. Your child will be able to make others feel heard, come up with something to say, and avoid saying things that hurt others. Even very young children can grasp the importance of conversation courtesies.

Your child can use a sense of humour in many positive ways. It can take the edge off an embarrassing situation and help make friends. But your child needs to learn the importance of combining his sense of humour with a kind heart. Humour can hurt others; a mean joke that mocks others draws everyone down, whether it’s a racist joke or a joke about the opposite gender. While these kinds of jokes may elicit a laugh, they leave a bitter aftertaste. If your child makes fun of others, those who are listening will wonder what he says about them when they aren’t around. They’ll lose their trust in him. Guiding your children on the appropriate way to use humour in their conversation is a very important skill for reinforcing their personality.

Talking about money is also a very sensitive subject. Help your child understand that people’s opinions about money are strongly held. She can easily offend others if she talks about money. First of all, encourage your child to talk with you about money, not with friends. Children shouldn’t ask others what they paid for things, nor should they volunteer that information about their own purchases. While kids will probably compare in their minds their possessions with those of their friends, they shouldn’t do it verbally.

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