By Guest Blogger Blanca Cobb, a local Body Language and Lie Detection Expert
“How do I get my kids to talk to me?” is a common question parents ask. Many parents feel shut out of their kids’ lives because they tend to get one word responses or shoulder shrugs as answers to their questions. Sometimes their kids ignore them all together. Many parents struggle in communicating with their kids. In my experience, there’s a disconnect in communication styles between parents and kids. Parents tend to talk to instead of talk with their kids, whereas kids want to be heard and have their feelings validated. Many parents don’t realize that they can use body language to create an inviting atmosphere where their kids will want to talk to them.
By using the following simple and effective body language techniques, you’ll rev up their proverbial ‘motor mouths.’
1) Remove any physical barriers between you and your kids and free your hands. Put down your cell phone and move away from the kitchen island. You and your kids want to be able to face each other without any barriers between you. When talking, use open palm gestures with your palms facing up to indicate openness and sincerity. Keeping you arms by your sides rather than crossing them indicates you are listening and interested in what they have to say.
2) Use effective eye contact by looking at your kids roughly 2/3’s of the time when they are talking to you and roughly 1/3 of the time when you are talking to them. Imagine an upside down triangle arranged around both eyes and the nose. You want to focus your eye contact anywhere within this upside down triangle, shifting your gaze from eye to eye and to the tip of the nose periodically. To look away, focus your gaze down briefly as it’s a natural break in eye contact.
3) Show interest in the conversation by leaning forward slightly towards your kids when they are talking. Getting physically close to your kids sends the message that you’d like to get emotionally close as well.
4) Tilt your head slightly and nod periodically to indicate that you are listening to your kids.
Not only will your kids know that you’re listening to them, they’ll feel heard. You now have the body language secrets to get your communication with your kids back on track.
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