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Three Simple Steps to Making Your Children More Articulate

Being able to express your thoughts in an eloquent manner is pretty darn important for being successful in life. Not everyone is going to be a champion orator, but that doesn't mean that they can't be better at speaking, whether it's just simple conversation, or in public.

Just take a look at almost every single job description you can find. Most of them, from entry level to executive, have a requirement that reads some variation of:

"Excellent written and verbal communication skills"

That's no accident. In the real world, being able to carry on intelligent, thoughtful conversation is critical to excelling in most professions.

So start working with them early. Here are a few simple tips for encouraging growth in your child's conversational skills:

1. Respect breeds respect.

The best conversationalists in the world have the ability to speak in a concise, respectful tone. So if you want your child to learn the right way of being articulate, it's important to speak to your children like you would to your adult peers. And not in the 'No-opinion-is-as-good-as-mine' social media sort of way. Show them respect and teach them to own the consequences of their actions and they will not only act more mature, they will BE more mature. Kids are parrots. If you talk at them in a disrespectful tone, they WILL talk that way to others.

Teaching them to be respectful to others is an important first step toward making them a more articulate conversationalist.

2. Don't dumb down your grammar.

Baby talk is adorable in the early going, but once they're able to hold a conversation with you, don't hold back on vocabulary. You'll inevitably get a plethora of "what does that mean?" inquiries, but extemporaneous conversation is an efficacious way to embolden their linguistic capacity.

Ok, that was a little over-the-top, but it's super important for children to learn at an early age that there are many words they can use to say the same thing. Both creative writing and being articulate are very much tied to an individual's ability to find stronger, bolder words to convey ideas.

3. Help them find new words.

Instead of using a dictionary to learn a new word every day, use a thesaurus to find alternate ways to say things they already know. It's that context that will help hard-code it into their brain.

Pro Tip: Play Mad Libs, but add a rule that they can't use the same words twice. They'll be forced to find new ways to express similar sentiments. Usually poop and fart related sentiments, but it's a good exercise nonetheless. (Hey, and it IS funny. Lighten up.)

Bonus Dad Joke: Q: What type of dinosaur knows the most words? A: The Thesaurus.

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