Help Your Child Build Confidence To Strike Up Conversation At Social Gatherings

By AASLNovember 29, 2021

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Great food, family gatherings, new friends… there are so many things we love about the holidays. What we do not love is that awkward silence with our Aunt Sally or Cousin Bobby when we do not know what to say. Holiday times mean gatherings, and gatherings mean socializing. This can sometimes be intimidating but have no fear! Our speech therapy team has created the perfect guide to helping your child navigate through those uncomfortable conversations.

Practice Starting the Conversation

This is the first, and easiest, step to work on with your child. Have them practice simply looking at you, smiling, and choosing a greeting of their choice (i.e., “hi,” “hello”, or “Merry Christmas!”).  Make sure they are using a positive tone of voice at an appropriate volume level. We want them to say it loud enough to be heard, but not yell!

Filling the Space

Now that your child has mastered their greeting, the next step is to choose one of the following paths for the conversation- ask a question, give a complement, or make a comment. Asking “how are you?” is an effortless way to fill the empty space after a greeting. Telling someone “I love your jingle bell sweater” is a fantastic way to foster a relationship with someone. Tell your child to practice making appropriate comments about you that could translate to other party go-ers (i.e., “I’m so glad you’re here,” “I love this time of year” or “I am so excited to open presents!”).

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