We know that communication is the process by which we connect with each other and through which we transmit and receive ideas from others, information and meanings. One of the essential ways by which we achieve this goal, in addition to language (and perhaps more genuine and natural), is non-verbal communication, that which is given by our gestures, bodily expression, proximity and sounds without words.
Non-verbal communication, what we say 'without words' is just as important as the language of words. Therefore, we must not forget what we communicate to our child without using words. We explain why non-verbal communication is so important in the education of children.
Being able to communicate without words and being able to “read” others in this way (and act accordingly) is an essential skill to achieve adequate social adaptation. Although it may seem natural to us, the skills that a child will develop in this area depend to a large extent on the teaching of parents during their early years. How can parents develop these skills in their children?
- Always keep eye contact when you talk to him.
- Use a relaxed and friendly tone of voice.
- Make it evident through your gestures signs of approval or disapproval about your children's behaviors.
- Take advantage of everyday activities to model them: In games, model non-verbal communication skills. For example: 'The bear was sad but did not want to tell anyone' (holding the bear in a listless position, walking slowly, crying, etc ...).
- Story reading (making different expressions and gestures in each character).
- Make up an acting game of different moods and guess what it is.
- Play to find images of people with different expressions in newspapers or magazines and guess with your child what feeling each person in the photo shows and why.
What impact does non-verbal communication have on our children? Nonverbal communication helps children:
- Develop language and thinking.
- Understand the needs, intentions and state of mind of those around them.
- Develop empathy and sensitivity for others.
- Be assertive and know how and when to speak or make your opinions and wishes known and when to stop and wait so as not to complicate a situation.
- Relate and bond more closely and effectively with others.
- Understand and enjoy jokes.
- Find new ways to express your desires and your moods.
There are children who present certain conditions such as Asperger's, non-verbal communication disorder and other neurological conditions, that make it difficult for them to understand and interpret non-verbal signals of those around them, which can become a very difficult situation to cope with. In these cases the teaching process must become much more intense and systematic; After this, many of them manage to handle themselves socially in an adequate way, enjoying more of their surroundings, understanding jokes better, being more flexible, etc.
In all cases, non-verbal communication, as well as the teaching and transmission of so many other aspects of life and the world, are part of the wonderful task that we have as parents.
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