LivingWhat your words don't say: why we should pay...

What your words don't say: why we should pay more attention to the non-verbal language we use with our children

Being a mother brings out the best in you, but it also lets you see with amazing clarity facets that you sensed you had, but that had not been so evident until then.

One of them is the power of your non-verbal communication . How many times have we not seen that face of fear-amazement because mom or dad got angry and it seemed to us that what we said was not so serious? Our face -and especially our gaze- many times say (and hurt) more than our own words , and the impact it can have on children is quite important.

But it doesn’t only happen in bad times: it also happens when we are with them and with the mobile, or when we are playing and thinking about something else: that, what we don’t say with words -but that they read perfectly- is a part of our language which we should pay more attention to.

Children are especially sensitive to non-verbal language

Since our children are babies, they are able to communicate through gestures. The more time we spend together, talking to him, playing or just looking at him, the more information he receives about the signals we want to transmit to him.

Of course, all these stimuli make their brain develop by leaps and bounds and strengthen their ability to understand what we are telling them just by looking at us. That feedback and their own survival instincts make children very sensitive to non-verbal language. We are their refuge and their calm… that’s why always talking to them with love (and letting it show), leaving stress and worries away from home, is very important from that early age.

Why taking care of non-verbal language improves our communication

Expressions are what give meaning to words , and even more so when we address our children. Sometimes we forget that they have known us since their first day of life, and that they only need to look at us to know exactly what we are thinking.

A child who identifies the full willingness of his parents to listen to him and assist him when he needs them, and who has always been spoken to with respect, is a child who will grow up with more self-confidence.

I do not mean that they never see us angry or busy, because real life includes all of us who are in the mood, but to ensure that our priority is always to make them understand that despite everything, anger, work, stress or whatever, we will be there for them . A ” as soon as this is over, which is very urgent, you will have my full attention ” (and comply with it, of course), is much better than a ” yes, I am listening to you “, when your gestures, your look and your expression body confirms that this is definitely not the case.

Imagine that you have a mirror in front of you

One of the best tools we have to improve as parents -and as people- is self-criticism. What would a mirror reflect if it were placed in front of you when you talk to your children? And obviously I am not referring to the moments in which we play, but to those in which we are very angry, or when they ask us for attention, or want to tell us about something extraordinary that they have done, like building the U with plasticine. Does the expression on our face match what our mouth says?

I think no one would be blameless. Today we are all “too busy”, “too stressed” or with a mental fatigue that does not allow us to exercise full attention when we are with them, which makes us easily explode, or even take our frustrations out on them.

Therefore, when you spend time with your children, imagine that you have a mirror in front of you… what expression do your children see? do you like that reflection?

Your child expects you to get excited with him, to be happy with him and to laugh out loud with him… just do it and don’t be afraid that your face reflects it!

Images | user18526052, freepik

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