Why a little conversationalist is bound to be a leader.
It’s the first day of school. And within the first ten minutes, I know who my leaders are in this class. How do I know that?
First of all, I’m the teacher. I’m watching. I'm listening. Secondly, my class leaders are already leading…with their mouths. They’re leading the other kids...in a positive direction or
a not-so-positive direction. But they are leading. Kids are using language to lead. They’re trying hard to be convincing. They want others to follow them. And the more powerful their vocabulary and knowledge, the more convincing they are to the other kids. Yes, it's that simple. And it's that obvious. So what do you do to help your child be the powerful talker who’s leading the pack in a positive direction? You do two things:
- Build Vocabulary––Model for your child the use of every word you know. When you run out of words you know, haul in a dictionary and a U.S. or world map or globe. Put them in your kitchen...and keep them there as long as your child is under your roof. Every day, then, you model using that dictionary and map or globe...to learn new words. Then, model for your child the use of those new words.
- Build Knowledge of the World––Engage your child in conversations every day. Use all those words you know (and all the new words you've learned on-the-go with your child) and the knowledge embedded in those words to make conversation. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” response. Ask questions for which you don’t even know the answers. Then model for your child how you use that dictionary and map or globe (along with a computer’s search engine) to find answers to the questions.
When your child has pockets filled with vocabulary and knowledge and
the ability (your modeling!) to use that vocabulary and knowledge, your child will be that powerful talker––that leader of the pack. And your child’s pack will be heading in all kinds of positive directions! How do I know that? Because I've watched it happen in class after class and year after year. Powerful talkers do powerfully positive leading.
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