How to Enhance Your Communication Skills

Our former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “The Destiny of a nation is shaped in her classrooms.”
The four skills in communication, i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing are very important to Shape a student’s future and provide the perfect platform for a child to explore, discover, learn and grow.

Listening: Listening is the bigger part of communication. Good listening is built on three basic skills: Attitude, Attention and Adjustment.
Listening helps students to open up, avoid misunderstandings, resolve conflicts and build trust.

Speaking: Mastering oral language skills is rewarding for students, since a good command over language helps them express their feelings, thoughts and ideas

Reading: Reading is an essential element at every stage of one’s life, particularly in schools. It is a means of discovering information to expand one’s knowledge, while understanding the subject. Students are advised to indulge in at least half an hour of reading a day to keep abreast of the various styles of writing and new vocabulary. Parents should stress on the importance of reading to children in their early years to enhance their language, thinking, writing, and communication skills; thus, helping them to concentrate and develop positive values.

Writing: Students should develop a passion for creative writing. One should learn as much by writing as by reading. Constant writing improves the quality of writing. Bacon has quoted rightly.”Reading makes a full man, and writing makes an exact man.”

Top 10 Revision Tips

In our busy lives, seldom do we remember everything that we have done through the day. So here are a list of 10 tips that can assist us in doing well for ourselves. Remember! We never stop learning and should never want to stop learning, so this blog is as much applicable to adults as it is to children.

  1. Short spurts of revision (20-25 minutes) are most effective. Your concentration lapses after about an hour and you need to take a short break (5-10 minutes).
  2. Find a quiet place to revise- your bedroom, school, local library – and refuse to be interrupted or distracted.
  3. Make sure you don’t just revise the subjects and topics you like. Work on your weak ones as well.
  4. Make your own revision notes because you will remember what you have written down more easily. Stick keynotes to a cupboard or to doors so you can see them everyday.
  5. Re-write the key points on your revision notes, read them out loud to yourself. We remember more than twice as much of what we say aloud than of what we merely read through silently.
  6. Use different techniques. Make your own learning maps. Use post-it notes to write keywords, create flashcards, record your notes on tape and listen to them back on your MP3 or mobile phone. Ask friends to test you. Use highlighter pens to mark important points. Chant or make up a rap song.
  7. Practice on past exam papers or revision tests available on the web. Initially do one section at a time and progress to doing the entire paper against the clock.
  8. You will need help at some stage – ask parents, teachers or even friends – if there is a teacher who you get on well with at school ask for their e-mail address so you can clarify points you are unsure of whilst on study leave.
  9. Don’t get stressed out! Eat properly!
  10. Believe in yourself and be positive. If you think you can succeed you will.

The Importance Of Partnerships

I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there.
The clay they worked was a young child’s mind,
And they fashioned it with care.
One was a TEACHER, the tools she used
Were books and music and art,
One a parent with a guiding hand,
And a gentle, loving heart.
And when at last the task was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought,
For the things they had moulded into the child
Could neither be sold or bought
And each agreed they may have failed
If each had worked alone,
For behind the teacher stood the stool,
And behind the parent, the family home.” – (Online source)

5 ways to effectively communicate with your child!

Whoever came up with the famous proverb, ‘Silence is golden’, was definitely not a parent! Everyone who has a child will agree that one of the toughest parenting challenge is to get your ward to break the silence, open up to you about their feelings and really talk to you. And this holds especially true if your children are in their pre-teens or are teenagers. A time, when they are more inclined to confess what’s on their mind to friends rather than to family. Once you manage to win your way into becoming their confidante, you wil not only realise what a world of difference it will make to your equation when you know your child inside out, but you can also help create a happy, trusting and nurturing environment for them. Here are five ways to ensure that the communication flow always remains smooth and healthy between your child and you.

1. Treat children as equals!

The biggest yet oft ignored rule of good communication with children is that you should never dismiss your child or assume he/she knows lesser than you or needs to be put in place. Before participating in any conversation with your child, remember that they are tiny adults who should be treated as equals. They are distinct individuals, who each have their own hopes, dreams, fears and thoughts. And if you want to get into their minds, you have to give them the respect they deserve in order to earn the same from them. When you treat them as an equal, they feel much more comfortable opening up to you than they ever would if you approached them like you are a superior being who controls their lives.

 

2. Be available!

Yes, as parents who are juggling between busy careers, running the household and hundred other tasks everyday, you might not have too much time to spare, but understand that your children treasures every moment that you dedicatedly spend with them. Hurried meals, TV time or all those moments when everyone is buried in their smart phones don’t make for any conversations. Spare some time everyday to actually spend quality time with your children, where you ensure that you are not multi-tasking, but are solely giving them your undivided attention. Once they know that you really care and are actually eager to know about their day, they feel much more comfortable sharing their lives with you.

 

3. Communicate, not criticise!

Remember that children are fragile creatures who are only learning the ways of life, sometimes the hard way. So there will always be failures, bad judgement calls and many moments when they will make mistakes. These are times when your child needs you more than ever. So, resist that first urge to shout, chastise or lecture them. Instead, hear them out and gently talk to them about what happened. They look up to you as role models and if you turn them away by screaming at them, they will never learn from the situation. What’s worse, they will begin to hide things from you to protect themselves from your anger or dissapointment. If you want to truly earn their trust, you need to let them know that you are on their side and instead teach them ways through which they can undo a mistake or repent it. This way, they will be doubly careful before making the same one the next time. Remember, it’s easy to win their hearts when you explain, not argue. Have a conversation, not lecture. Encourage, not embarras. And most importantly, explain, not argue.

 

4. Let them decide!

Children who remain closed to their parents often clam up because they think that their opinions don’t make a difference in the household. They often feel that their ideas might be considered trivial or that their views may not be taken in consideration while coming to a resolution. This results in the assumption that they are better off keeping their mouths shut. What you could do to change this point of view is to start including your children in conversations before making any major decision about them or the home. The decision could be something as silly as what colour should the wall be painted or where to go on a vacation or a major one like what career path they should choose, but once you start including them in the dialogue, your children will feel respected and much more comfortable expressing their ideas to you. This opens up a whole window of communication, where you can discover and respect their perspective on things.

 

5. Take an interest in their interests!

Yes, you might not know a thing about rock music or what the latest online trend is about, but if you want to be your children’s friend and share their happiness and good times with them, you have to start doing some homework! Read up a little about their hobbies and interests, or even better, ask them about it yourself. You will be amazed at how that quiet teenager of yours who prefers being locked up in a room will excitedly open a floodgate of conversation with you if you begin to share an interest in their leisurely pursuits. The best part? If your initial curioisity actually leads you to also become a fan of one of their hobbies, you will never run out of things to talk about! And who knows, some day, you two might just be going for concerts together!