“With confidence, you have won before you have started.”Marcus Garvey
If I tell you that there’s a way to make your timid child become an influential communicator, would you like to know?
Sure, you would unless you are sceptical and deep down, as a parent, you haven’t embraced or learned how to communicate yourself powerfully. Hence, you have unconsciously transferred that obstacle and weakness to your children.
I wouldn’t say I was timid as a child but what you could say I lacked was the awareness and ability to express or relate to my surrounding.
Partly because I was constantly busy physically in servitude and assisting with hosting duties, I didn’t pay too much attention to communicating effectively with like-minded peers or having stimulating conversations with adults who could teach a thing or two.
Everyone around was too busy living life and ensuring that money was available to starve off poverty or dreary starvation.
It’s a pity, but something working-class environment and families had to deal with. Learning to communicate effectively was a privilege and one that comes at a cost.
Now, don’t get me wrong, childhood was somewhat exciting and memorable – with some memories I try not to replay, but that’s general with most people growing up on earth.
We always try to forget or avoid visiting experiences in the past that we don’t want to remember.
What has this got to do with teaching shy kids how to communicate?
Since shyness and timidity stem from fear or anxiety caused by other people, especially in new situations or among strangers, parents and carers have the most impact on how a child overcomes this obstacle.
For instance, parents or carers who are authoritarian or overprotective can cause their children to be shy.
Essentially, children who aren’t allowed to freely and independently experience things may have trouble developing social skills.
I guess schools, neighbourhoods, communities, and culture all shape a child; therefore, helping a child learn the importance of making solid connections within these networks contributes immensely to their development.
What doesn’t help is that children with shy parents may emulate that behaviour.
A possible reason for the developmental deficiency is the inability to communicate effectively. Once sharpened and mastered, the child’s self-confidence and esteem will dramatically improve.
I remember getting tongue-tied when explaining and getting my point across.
The English language and literature classes were exciting back in school, yet I was considered below par, so I was given extra time with a tutor after class.
Now you may think that helped, having the undivided attention and focused assistance.
Still, after a couple of months, they had stopped the privilege classes because, according to the school, it was beyond hopeless as I didn’t seem to make any leeway with my classes, especially in my English lessons.
It took time in college and university and asking my father how I could accumulate knowledge from all the books I was reading (which was ironic as I loved reading books for leisure).
His simple answer, which I felt didn’t reasonably address my issues at the time, was, “Keep reading and one day, all that information will be needed when it’s time”.
Now I get it!
After a decade of harsh experiences, I finally understood the above statement and fully appreciate that having the ability to read and write helps with articulation and improves communication skills, whether writing a convincing proposal or expressing your ground-breaking ideas to a group of potential clients or investors.
My parents’ warm, caring approach to rearing us resulted in us being more comfortable around others and having the confidence to be outspoken and communicate effectively.
This was due to practice, practice and more practice. Plus, one of my favourite way to communicate is my desire to observe and ask the right questions; after all, people love talking about themselves.
Emotional intelligence and listening skills improved my communication with anyone I meet, whether when talking to contractors, pastors, or someone highly influential.
Mr Jordan Bernt Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist, YouTube personality, author, and a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, gave an eye-opening, actionable answer to a supposedly shy person who asked Mr Peterson how can he overcome his introverted tendencies.
(Disclaimer: he asked his question in a poised, observant manner which in fact, is the characteristic of someone who according to research is effective at communication skills; it goes to show that sometimes, what we think is our weakness, is, in fact, our strength in disguise).
So, according to Mr Peterson, there are countless ways to improve and empower communications skills; maybe you are already practising these and don’t know, or you may wish to adapt them to aid your children in becoming better communicators.
If you work on these, over time, you will truly become powerful and significant, which according to Dr Miles Munroe, is a natural human desire.
TOP TIPS FOR TEACHING KIDS TO COMMUNICATE LIKE A PRO
- To become great at articulation, you need to read a lot and write a lot.
- Preferably write 15 minutes every day. Do this for 10years, and you will straighten out your thinking a lot.
- If you want to speak effectively, you need to know a lot more than what you’re talking about
- You’re not speaking to a group; you always talk to one individual. Pick one in your mind.
- Don’t talk to a thousand people: talk to a thousand individuals, one at a time.
- You don’t ‘deliver a talk’ to an audience; you have a conversation with them.
- Having the goal of being a great communicator is a great start.
- It doesn’t matter what you do; whatever you do, you are ten times better at everything if you are a good communicator.
- If you’re an excellent negotiator, everyone walks away from the negotiation happy. And that comes from communicating effectively.
These tips apply to children and adults alike; it’s more relevant when kids are taught early in childhood as they are more coachable, can digest more and can try and experiment, unlike some adults whose opinions, views and experiences are tarred and mired in old and sometimes unbreakable habits.
Daily working on these actions may not reap quick results, but just like anything worthwhile and valuable, consistently practising and patiently moving forward no matter the circumstances would eventually make your kids unstoppable.
This quote by the one and only Mr Peterson sums up the importance and benefits of communicating effectively
“If you can think and speak and write, you are absolutely deadly, nothing can get in your way.”Jordan Peterson