Apr 5, 2012

6 Secrets to Communicating with Preschoolers

How do you carry on a conversation with a preschooler?  Here's some tips if you want to improve your “Small Talk.”

Listen.  It all starts by knowing how to listen to a preschooler.  Spend just as much time listening as you do talking.
  • At ages 2-3, they begin to use complete sentences and begin to think logically and understand sequences of events.
  • They use the word “no” to claim their space and the word “why” to question authority.
  • They begin to make up their own explanations of things.  An example is “when it rains, the sky is crying.”
  • They like to imitate other people's words.  You may hear them repeating words to their pet or toy that they heard someone else say.  I remember doing this when I was in preschool. I had a Denise the Menace.  Anytime I got in trouble, I turned around and gave him the same reprimand.
  • ]They like to hear about and describe the same event over and over again.  This gives them a sense of security.
  • By ages 3-5, they begin to understand cause and effect.  An example is “if you drink your milk, you will have strong bones.”
  • They also talk through their body language, art, and play.
  •  Ask more than just “yes” or “no” questions.  Ask open-ended questions that will encourage them to talk.
Lean or kneel down.  Get down on their level.  This will make them feel more comfortable.

Look into their eyes.  Show genuine interest in them.

Let your tone reflect kindness.  Don't talk “down” to them.  Watch your tone.

Learn about their world.  Know the shows they watch, the characters they like, their favorite ice cream, favorite toy, etc.

Literal words.  Preschoolers are concrete thinkers.  Use words they can grasp concretely.

“Small talk” reaps “big rewards.”  Take time to genuinely talk with the preschoolers in your ministry.  They will begin to smile and run to you when they see you coming.  You will then see their hearts open to receive the Biblical truths you want to transfer to them.

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