Watch Your Body, Not Just Your Tone When You Talk to Children

It makes a big difference.

Adelina Vasile


Close-up shot of mother and daughter smiling
Photo from Pixabay

Possibly unpopular advice: don’t sit across from your child when you want to give them a lesson — stay next to them, shoulder to shoulder.

Are you scoffing, rolling your eyes already? Think about the message you’re sending.

You turn yourself into a physical barrier when you’re across from them. You’re standing against them, perpendicular to them, in an aggressive position that can instinctively generate negative emotions.

When you’re next to them, you turn yourself into a continuation of them. You’re standing in line with them, you’re on the same team, in a collaboratory position that can instinctively generate positive, supportive emotions.

One more thing to worry about?

Perhaps, but it’s one of those things that make a difference. And once you turn it into a habit, you will no longer need to worry about it at all.

Parents are often concerned with what to say to their children, but we forget that the actual words are the smallest part of communication.

Between 70 to 93% of communication is nonverbal. So, why do we pay so little attention to our body language when we engage with children?

After all, it’s not rocket science. People hardly ever learn when they feel scolded, diminished, inferior. Children are the same. And even when they cannot make much sense of the words coming out of your mouth, they pick up on your energy.

You can’t teach them anything as long as you’re in a mood and position of superiority.

You’re not in this alone, you’re in it with me

That’s what you want your child to feel, don’t you?

To make yourself understood and listened, you need to put your shoulder next to theirs.

Don’t shove your spear into their face. Exude positive energy, make them feel you’re on their side, willing to guide them, rather than on the other side, anxious to train them.

Will they really get the message?



Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.