When I was asked to do a guest post for Carrots Are Orange, I was ecstatic! Marnie consistently shares posts that get me excited. It was her inspiration that got me to bring more Montessori-based ideas into my own homeand I’ve been touched many times by her thoughts on motherhood. So, check out her website if you haven’t yet, AND check out my guest post on the ever-important, often overlooked, nonverbal communication.
The importance of non-verbal communication to any communicative exchange cannot be overstated. When we say a stranger was “so sweet” or even ”rubbed us the wrong way,” little of our response to that individual has to do with what they said. We are reading so much about a person through their body language, facial expression, actions, and tone.
For children, who are just learning language and the meaning of words, the value of nonverbal communication is even higher. It’s like you being in a country surrounded by another language. You look for any clues to make sense of the world around you. Children rely desperately on all the cues from the environment to take in information and establish connections. They are on the verge of understanding and soak up anything and everything to attach meaning to words. That’s how they learn.
They learn “mmm” means something tastes good by seeing you enjoy yourself, smile, and say “mmm” during a pleasant meal. If instead you made an awful face, spit out your food, and then said “mmm” that sound would have a different meaning for your child. So what we do creates meaning for what we say.
In my time working with children I’ve been blown away by how much detail they really perceive about their environment, and ME in particular! Children have pointed out when I have a new pair of shoes, noted their favorites in my earring collection, and imitated with the skill of a seasoned actor my thoughtless mannerisms, like tucking my hair behind my ear, scratching the tip of my nose, or resting my chin on my fist. If I’ve learned one thing from children, it’s that they are watching me.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
So, if you want to teach your child something… Click through to continue>>