Family time develops children's language skills


A new survey suggests that more than 60% of parents believe that talking at home is the most important factor for developing young children's communication skills.

The poll of 2,000 parents of children under six, carried out for National Family Week by children’s communication charity I CAN, also found that three-quarters of parents talk to their children to boost their confidence.
More than four in ten of the parents surveyed knew the value of talking to help their child’s communication development, the charity said. But more than half of parents questioned said they were concerned that the need to work longer hours in the current economic climate would leave them with less time to spend with their children.
The survey also reveals the important role that grandparents play in developing children’s speech and communication skills.
More than half of the 1,000 grandparents who were polled spend at least one day a week or more with their grandchildren, and more than a third said they spend this time talking with them.
According to the charity, one in ten children have long-term speech, language and communication needs. In some areas of the UK, more than half of all five-year-olds start school without the communication skills they need to learn and make friends.
Virginia Beardshaw, I CAN chief executive, said: "Spending time together and making time to talk as a family, is very important for building children’s confidence and communication skills.
"It is encouraging to see that families are making time to develop their children’s speaking and listening skills. Helping your child or grandchild to become a confident communicator will improve their ability to learn at school and to make friends. National Family Week is an ideal opportunity for families to get together and to join in enjoyable activities, while developing these all important communication skills in children."