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The Art of Chit Chat Program

Small talk gets a bad rap.

Chances are it’s not your favorite thing. But we all do it, and here’s why:  small talk is the onramp to getting to know someone in just about any situation. The problem is that… It. Is. HARD. 

Some would say it’s even gotten harder for our kids in recent years, and we would agree. Our kids are growing up in a world that’s not built for learning face-to-face conversation skills; it’s built for screens. Before the pandemic (final surveys for this report were completed just a week before we all went into pandemic lockdown), research by Common Sense Media revealed that on average, children from birth to 8 years old were on screens for about 2 ½ hours per day. More than ⅔ of kids aged 5-8 years old have their own smartphone or tablet, and the majority of their screen time was spent watching videos, like TikTok or YouTube. You can read the full report here.

Common Sense Census Media usage by kids

Certainly much has changed since then. Screens have become a lifeline since the pandemic began, for parents and kids alike. It has been our link to school, to friends, and the only way parents could balance work-life and home-life.

But the fact remains that our kids, during years that are critical for the development of language and communication skills, have lost years of cumulative access to the very best teacher around: good ‘ole face-to-face human interaction.

A child of the internet age and the pandemic age is more likely to:

  • Send a text to someone in their own house
  • Hang out in a group chat, rather than the cafe or shopping mall
  • Watch a show on their Ipad in their room, rather than on TV with others
  • Be overly direct (“She’s about your age, you know, pretty old”)
  • Misinterpret body language and facial expressions
  • Send an email and wait for a response, rather than make a quick phone call
  • Wait until after high school to have a first job
  • Feel uncomfortable asking for help in a store
  • Be more bothered by their online social life than their in-person social life

If our kids aren't learning the verbal and nonverbal nuances of conversation through day-to-day interactions, then we must teach them.

That’s why we created the Art of Chit Chat. We’ve combined 20+ years of expertise in communication and language to build a program that is interactive, fun, and effective. Using games, real-world scenarios and improvs, we can equip you to show kids the importance of:

  • Tone of voice
  • Engaged listening
  • Extending vs. steering a conversation
  • Breaking the ice to join conversations
  • Body language
  • Facial expressions
…we even have material to boost digital conversations
  • Topics you shouldn’t text about
  • Formal vs informal language in a email
  • …and more!

Start teaching your group of kids the Art of Chit Chat today! The Art of Chit Chat program is designed to easily fill a semester’s worth of instruction with real-world connections and explicit social communication instruction. Delivery is great for large groups, small groups and independent practice, and can be taught by leaders, teachers, counselors, and therapists.

 

Coming Soon!

This program will be available soon! Make sure you're on our email list to be the first to know when you can be a part of something awesome. Questions? Contact us here.