Risking the embarrassment and chancing some entertainment…let’s allow our kids to practice communicating with adults at appropriate times. See below as Jen provides three real-life settings for kids to practice communicating with adults.
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
1 Corinthians 14:20
Parents, we have the great privilege and daily opportunities to teach our kids how to communicate well with adults…since we are adults! It definitely can get tricky when it comes to our kids interacting respectfully and maturely with other adults with whom they’re less familiar. Fear not however…it can be done!
Here are ways we can allow kids to grow in maturity regarding communicating with adults:
1. Talk about a situation before the child is in it. “Hey kids, when we get to this house there will be new people to meet. Remember to look them in the eye. Say your name clearly and loudly enough to be heard the first time. And shake their hand…a hand shake where your hand locks in with theirs…no wimpy finger-tip shakes and no flimsy arms! Go ahead practice with your brother. Now shake my hand and let’s introduce ourselves.”
2. Hand over the reigns: From a very young age kids can order their own food at restaurants either by pointing to what they’d like on the menu when the server asks or by saying it. If a child is old enough to play a sport, he or she is old enough to thank the coach after each practice and game. When grocery shopping, send your child a few aisles over to get a couple items. If the items are out of reach they can ask a fellow shopper or a nearby employee for help. When your child would like a friend to come over, they can call that friend’s parent to ask.
3. Challenge kids to ask questions: When we have guests over (be it adult friends or our kids’ friends) we tell our kids to think of three questions to ask as we sit around the table for supper. Somebody always tries to get away with spewing off three “favorite” questions…”What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite animal? What’s your favorite food?” As our kids have grown, our 9-year-old is the only one allowed one of these “favorite” questions. And only one. The dinner conversation then includes everyone and shows our kids that all ages of people are worth getting to know.
All of this communication practice helps prepare the child for the path ahead of them…with all its bumps and turns. As a child matures, being able to communicate effectively will benefit them in the short and long term as well as in every area of life.
What if you could know an embarrassing moment of your teacher’s? What if you asked your coach who is somebody he/she looks up to? Stepping up courageously to talk with adults can be fun, and you just might be surprised how similar they are to you!