Talking to preschoolers and small children can be fun and at the same time challenging. Small children can have very interesting observations and can have plenty of great insights that adults miss or take for granted. Preschoolers, however, are not yet fully equipped with the knowledge of social conventions and etiquette that adults have grown to be so familiar with. Plus, preschoolers are obviously in a different developmental stage than more mature children or adults, so you will need to employ subtly different tactics with regards to effectively conversing with them.
- Sit down. Make sure that you are speaking eye-to-eye with the child. Get down to his level so that you are not towering over him. Try to sit down or to crouch on the floor when you are talking to a preschooler. This is especially important if you want to have a nice, long conversation with the preschooler. Remember, if you want the preschooler to share his thoughts with you, you must make sure that you don’t look intimidating.
- Keep your calm. When you talk, try to make sure that your voice is calm. A lot of times, adults will only talk to preschoolers to scold them. Because of this, high-pitched voices can scare the little children and cause them to clam up. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure that you keep your voice calm. Talk evenly, so that they will understand you.
- Talk slowly. This is another great technique for talking to preschoolers. This does not mean that preschoolers are dumb and that they need you to repeat every sentence you say. It’s just that preschoolers are a little bit more distracted than adults. If you want the child to focus on what you are saying, make sure that you give him enough time to catch the words that you speak. Make sure that you don’t speak so fast that the child will get bored just trying to get your drift.
- Explain words. One of the worst mistakes that an adult can make is to use only ‘small words’ that a child will understand. Do not be afraid to use a couple of big words on small children. Children are like sponges that will absorb almost anything that they encounter. By giving them access to new words, they will learn how to express themselves better. Just be sure that you are ready to explain what a particular word means if the preschooler happens to ask.
- Offer respect. Finally, show the preschooler some respect. Don’t think that a preschooler will not notice when you laugh away everything that he talks about. Once a preschooler thinks that you are only talking to him to scorn him, he will clam up. Make sure that you don’t break the fragile trust between a preschooler and an adult.
Talking to a preschooler can be loads of fun, and can even be a
mind-opening experience. With these in mind, you should be able to talk
to just about any preschooler easily.