Story telling is an art. Being able to communicate with the beauty of words put to good use is a gift. It is also a platform for us to know a lot of things when kids open their mouth to talk…or not talk..So I ask them to give me two paragraphs of narrative of what has been happening in their life recently. Or tell me three things that are on their mind or they are excited about. If this is hard to do, I look to where the chain broke in telling me a story…
- Ability to recall from the memory bank (short or long term memory)
- Ability to string the thoughts together and convey a synthesized information (big picture- called macrostructure)
- Details of the events (ability to conceptualize supporting elements, finer the better- called microstructure)
- Express (expressive language skills including articulation and repertoire of word usage/vocabulary)
- Social Rules of communication consisting of facial expression, eye contact, perspective taking or tuning in
- Executive function relevant to communication: Focus on the topic while synthesizing the concept and/or themes, connecting the dots and delivering the narrative (includes points 1-3 plus more)
- Motivation: A joy to exchange and convey the story
- Environmental contribution: Parental coaching in facilitating communication skills through (a) asking questions, (b) building on cues, (c) helping them connecting the dots, and (d) encouraging them to develop a narrative through practicing expressive skills.
I think there is a lot that parents can do as coaches. First recognize where they are stuck, and slowly get them to practice and work on talking to you more based on prompts through your interesting questions and guidance. The thought process in the mind will also develop into being more sophisticated as they practice. Internal dialogue will then complement the external dialogue, and may serve as foundation to good problem solving! You can even get them to talk to the guests that come home. Give them every opportunity to shine on the stage… yes, life… beginning at home. Lets open the key of golden communication.