Hey parents – as we wrap up the month of September let us talk a little more about respect. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal. Almost every conversation we engage in verbally also includes many non-verbal signals. Non-verbal signals send powerful and strong messages across. Even in silence communication continues in a non-verbal manner.
Teaching kids about non-verbal signals should also be taught when teaching them about respect.
How do they sit – are they respecting themselves?
How much space are they keeping between themselves and someone they are engaged in conversation with? Too much space may show they are not engaged in the conversation and listening. Too little space may be disrespectful to the person they are engaged in conversation with.
Do they maintain eye contact?
Do they fold their arms when you are speaking to them?
Are their eyes about to fall out of their eye sockets from exercising them too much? (Ha – rolling eyes)
How do they present themselves?
Non-verbal communication communicates louder than verbal. Example: when we ask our kid what’s wrong when they are crying and they respond I am fine – which will be more attentive to. The “I’m fine” or the tears? There are many roles non verbal communication has: it can re-ensure the verbal message, contradict the verbal message, replace a verbal message, complete a verbal message or help add emphasis to a verbal message.
In martial arts for both children and adults such as jiu-jitsu and MMA we often use non-verbal communication too. When we are in a submissive position we tap which communicates to our training partners you have the submission please stop.
As we continue to try and raise our tiny humans to one day become productive members of society let us not forget about non-verbal communication. It is an important form of communication and they will NEED the skill set for later in life!
Parents Corner: Character Development Program at Gladiator’s Academy of Lafayette