Traumatized children do the exact same thing. When they are unsure about something, they look to their parents to see how they respond. Then there are those children who, because of their past trauma excel at reading body language. The child who is pushing mom away because he fears bonding, which to him, means making himself vulnerable to pain and rejection; hones in on mom's body language and he can read her like a book.
All the correct responses in the world, will amount to nothing if you are not in control of your body language. Having "kind eye's, a gentle voice and relaxed posture are anything but easy when your child is melting down over inconsequential things yet again, but it is absolutely necessary.
Lower your voice and slow down your speech.
Relax your shoulders.
Put kindness in your eye's.
Use a soothing touch.
Sometimes when my children are so upset, they can no longer hear me or process what I am saying, I "speak with my eye's." I say the words inside my head and let my eye's do the talking. Amazingly this sometimes works!
When my shoulders and back are tense, my children mirror my posture and become more dysregulated.
I tend to speak louder and faster when I am frustrated. When a child is triggered, he will not be able to "hear" you. He is operating out of fight, flight or freeze and when his body is in this mode, he cannot process words.
Sometimes a gentle touch, calms a panicked child. Not always, sometimes it will only make it worse, as every child and situation is different.
The Body Language Expert, says communication is:
7% words (literal meaning)
38% tone of voice
55% body language
Of course, different situations will skew this percentage, but I think it gives us an idea of the importance of body language.
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