Helping Children Communicate in the Digital Age

If you had met Varun two years ago, you would have been delighted to make the acquaintance of this sociable, enthusiastic, articulate 12-Year old. He blossomed in one of the premier schools in the city, under the guidance of his caring teachers. Like any other child, he was allowed an hour of electronic time to explore his favourite content online.

Come, December 2021, with nearly 20 months of all his learning and communication (with friends, family, classmates, teachers, community) coming from electronic platforms, Varun’s mode, means and understanding of communication has undergone a sea change with Zoom classes replacing his physical classroom. 

Today, his parents have realized that skilling him to communicate effectively, both online and offline, is the essential way forward. Notwithstanding their reservations on how much “electronic time” is “safe” for him.

So what does communication mean to parents and children in an era of virtual connections? 

From celebrations and online classes to webinars and more – the world is learning to communicate on digital platforms. With screens replacing school books and online classrooms becoming the only mode of learning, children have learnt to rapidly adapt and adopt the new normal. So how do parents bring a balance between physical and virtual communication? Parents need to ensure that their child does not lose touch with the critical aspects of human communication.

             A few suggestions for parents to help your child communicate effectively in the digital age:

1. Use of positive body language like maintaining comfortable eye contact and open body language, the warmth of a smile, a pleasant greeting, understanding non-verbal cues and appropriate use of hands to express themselves better. 

2. Voice Projection, Facial Expressions, Tone and Pitch are critical elements of communication that can be used to express an emotion in different situations. A skilled communication skills trainer can help students understand the subtle differences and provide invaluable classroom exposure. 

3. While today’s children are digital natives, they may not necessarily be aware of the positive and the negative forms of digital communication. From virtual friends, and gaming apps to ads with inappropriate content, monitoring screen time to ensure your child is safe in this digital communication age, is a must.

4. Children observe and emulate – and parents will always be role models. So being highly aware of your physical and digital communication, will act as a guiding light.

5. Listening skills become even more important in the current scenario, when online fatigue sets in and communication tends to become impatient and hurried. Helping your child develop good listening skills will help build her/his overall communication skills. 

6. Building your child’s confidence is another critical skill set in the 21st centuryChildren should learn and master the art of Confident Communication – where they learn to Convey, Convince, and Concur in order to connect better with others. You can hone this skill through diligent guidance. A reputed and established communication skills institute can also help provide the much needed interactions with a skilled trainer as well as other students.

Maintaining conversation flow, engaging in meaningful debate and dialogue, employing the nuances of body languageexuding confidence and clarity, and above all expressing empathy and grace are all skills that a student can equip themselves with, as they prepare to excel in a world where communication is more important than ever before.

It is said that 7% percent of meaning is communicated through the spoken word, 38 percent through tone of voice, and 55 percent through body language. Students across the globe are choosing to take courses in Public Speaking and Communication to help them master the skill of Effective and confident Communication.

From getting your family to agree to your choice of restaurant, convincing classmates and colleagues to work on a project with you, confident and assertive body language empowers verbal communication and brings others around to your point of view, teaching valuable leadership and negotiation skills.

Dealing with interpersonal conflict and other difficult conversations are useful when learnt at a young age.  The ability to manage expectations is also part of verbal communication, as is providing feedback. While some communication can be managed through emails, text messages and Zoom calls, face-to-face communication helps produce excellent teamwork.  Children build rapport and trust when they work together in person.

Improving verbal communication requires practice. And what you practice can be perfected. Speaking clearly and concisely, pacing your speech, and ensuring you don’t ramble or repeat yourself sends out a strong message about your personality.

In Dubai alone, several communication skills training institutes have moved to virtual classrooms and now conduct animated, energetic sessions on Elocution & Storytelling, Speech & Drama, Creative Writing skills, Public Speaking, Vocabulary Building and more for children as young as 6. Besides enhancing their communication skills children develop invaluable skills like group interaction, self-expression and creativity.

Trinity College, London Graded examinations help them develop communication skills through poetry, reading, drama, mime and performances. These classes also spark their imagination and encourage creative thinking.  

For older children in the 11-16 age group, advanced communication skills gives them the communication tool box that will later help them to participate in Group Discussion and Debates, hone their Speech Writing TechniquesAce an interview, Demonstrate Impressive Leadership Skills, Speak Impromptu to a large audience, Build Rapport and Develop Inter-Personal Skills with people across cultures and be confident, composed and convincing.

The Trinity College, London (arguably one of the world’s most renowned vocational boards) Communication Skills graded examinations for individuals are designed for candidates to develop and refine a range of transferable communication skills. Through creating and delivering talks and presentations, acquiring speech writing techniques and interacting with the examiner in tasks focused on persuasion and negotiation, candidates develop skills that can have positive impact on their education, their future careers, their relationships and ultimately their own well-being. The syllabus has been thoughtfully devised to cover a wide range of interesting communication skills. 

For over 22 years Confident Communication a premier institute in the U.A.E. has helped students move from self-consciousness to self-confidence, with the guidance of passionate in-class trainers, equipped to train students in new age communication skills. We are grateful for the trust that parents place in us to guide their young wards to a confident future.

Today, at age 14, Varun has enhanced his vocabulary, voice modulation and expression to adapt to an online audience as well. His weekly sessions in Advanced Communication Skills give him an opportunity to keep practicing and evolving his skills as he prepares to take on the world with poise and self-belief, assurance, confidence and courage.

Online classroom sessions for preparation of graded examinations certified by The Trinity College of London Speech & Drama (for Age group: 6 to 10) and Communication Skills (for Age group: 11 to 16) and Writing Skills classes begin in January 2022. Click here to know more.