PRESCHOOL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Starting out with a fun bang....We sang and danced the communication skills (pre-pandemic). After learning the tune and the steps that were fun to do and easy to remember. “ SOMETHING HAPPENS IN THE WORLD AROUND ME AND I THINK, I FEEL, I WANT, I ACT....”
This involves observing something in the external world around us which has impact on our internal world, what we think or assume, what we feel and where we feel it in our bodies, what we want out of the situation (our intention) and our response or action taken.
We all took turns saying what we did SEE, HEAR, FEEL (tactile not emotion), TASTE or SMELL. First I build awareness of the difference between the inner and the outer. So for the first week we only practice saying any of these: I SEE; I HEAR; I FEEL (tactile, not emotion); I TASTE; I SMELL.
Always starting with “I” in each of the steps is critical for self responsibility. Instead of declaring, You make me mad when you drop your smelly sox in my room.....it becomes: When I saw you drop your smell sox in my room, I thought you were being mean. I felt mad in my shoulders. I want you to stop messing up my room. So I am asking you to please respect my space and stop leaving your smelly sox in my room.
Examples for the first step:
I saw a big blue bird in my yard. I heard a loud siren. I felt the kitty's soft fur. I tasted a rotten apple. I smelled cookies baking.
Second week: Use the first step of awareness tapping one of the five external experiences. Then add “I thought” or “I assumed” or “I interpreted”. With young children usually “I thought” is the primary option.
Example: I saw a big blue bird in my yard. I thought it was looking for food. Do that process for a week every day noting something new being observed/experienced from outer world/environmental influences daily so children are familiar with the two steps. Then proceed to the third step in the third week.
Third week: I saw a big blue bird in my yard. I thought it was looking for food. I felt sorry for the bird and I felt it in my heart. ALWAYS have the children state the feeling AND where it is felt in the body. Practice this for a week.
Fourth week: I saw a big blue bird in my yard. I thought it was looking for food. I felt sorry for the bird and I felt it in my heart. STATE INTENTION – what is WANTED in this situation. I wanted to give it some food. Practice these four steps with different examples for a week.
Fifth week: I saw a big blue bird in my yard. I thought it was looking for food. I felt sorry for the bird and I felt it in my heart. I wanted to give it some food. FIFTH step is the action taken depending on the intention. So I sprinkled some sunflower seeds in the yard for the bird.
Reminding children to always use “I” statements and to FEEL where they experience feelings in the body are two essential ingredients in being successful with this communication model.
JSTOR research results indicate that communication skills that contgribute to coherent discourse are fundamental to social interaction and may influence young children's peer acceptance.
Additional basics for good communication skills and techniques for assisting young children in having fun learning to communicate clearly can be found in SUPERKID POWER GUIDEBOOK which I authored to empower children to build inner strengths. (Available on Amazon)
Superkid Power Guidebook, Janai Mestrovich aka Grandma Boom. Amazon.
Www.superkidpower.org free video for children on self regulation and reinforcement downloads