Does it sometimes feel like your pre-schooler talks all the time? That’s normal. Pre-schoolers want to chat to everybody about everything because they’re putting their new language skills together with their unlimited curiosity about the world.
Pre-schooler talking and listening: what to expect
Between the ages of three and five years, you might hear lots of talk and questions from your pre-schooler. This is because pre-schoolers:
Pre-schoolers communicate through:
When you’re communicating with your pre-schooler, you’ll notice that he can hold longer conversations and use specific words from his growing vocabulary to say what he means. For example, your child can tell you that he’s upset, instead of having a tantrum. This is also because your pre-schooler is developing an understanding of his own feelings and other peoples’ feelings.
You might also hear your pre-schooler telling the same story over and over again. This is because repeating ideas and stories helps pre-schoolers work out what’s going on in the world around them.
Even though their ability to understand your words has developed a lot, pre-schoolers still use your facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures to understand things.
Ideas for talking and listening to pre-schoolers
When you show your child that you’re listening, it sends the message that what your child is thinking and saying is important to you. And this message really builds your relationship with your child.
Here’s how to show your child that you’re listening:
Pre-schoolers love to tell stories! If you need to stop listening during a long story, let your child know. For example, ‘We’re almost at pre-school now. Would you like to finish the story quickly now or tell me the rest later?’
Answering your child’s questions
When you take your child’s questions seriously and take the time to give a real answer, you encourage your child to keep asking questions. This helps your child to learn about the world as she grows and develops.
If you don’t know the answer to your child’s question, you can find out the answer together. For example, you could say ‘That’s a really interesting question – let’s see if we can find out. Can we ask someone we know? Can we look on the internet or find a book at the library?’ This helps to build your child’s research skills so that over time he can find answers himself.
Talking to your child
Your child can use and understand a lot of words, but she still might have trouble understanding what you’re saying sometimes.
Here are some ideas that can help you talk and communicate clearly with your pre-schooler:
Pre-schoolers take things very literally, and interpret things based on the words they hear. They don’t really understand sarcasm or hidden meanings. So it’s a good idea to be careful about how you say things. This can avoid upsetting pre-schoolers who think the joke is on them!
Video: Connecting and communicating with preschoolers
Watch this video and learn the importance of communicating with your preschooler, and how it helps her learn and develop.
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