Christmas dinner at our house this year will be for 6, including a young teen, a 26 year old, and Nan, as you can imagine the conversation is going to be varied and probably random.
As across the country we all gather for christmas this could be the only day of the year some families sit down at a table and eat together.
So in this world of tech and social media how are your teens with conversation?
A recent study by the Institute of Education has shown a significant decline in young people spending time socialising with their friends after school, preferring instead to communicate via social media. Is his lack of face to face socialising leading to a lack of social skills in young teens?
As a family we eat together every evening, with a no tech at the table rule, including the 26 year old when he’s round on Friday evenings. Our boys are used to general chatter, and hopefully we have passed on the importance of communication skills like eye contact, body language and speaking with clarity.
Fiona Berry from Talking Tips with Kids says Social skills vary:
11 year olds can switch their style of talking from formal when talking with teachers ‘Good morning Sir’ to informal when chatting with friends ‘How’s it going mate?’ They can detect when someone else has not understood them and resolve this breakdown in communication.
14 year olds can keep on top of rapidly evolving slang but know when and where it is appropriate to use it.
By 18, students are able to adapt their communication style to fit in with a wide range of social groups and are becoming proficient in the art of conversation.
In a world intent on promoting interaction with screens, christmas is an ideal time to forget that and for parents to assess the communication skills of their children and hopefully have a good, lively, fun conversation over christmas dinner.
How many people will you have chatting around your table?
image Apolonia freedigitalphotos.net