How we communicate with our kids is important—how we say it and when we say it and what our body is saying too.

In fact, every message has at least 3 different parts.

  1. The actual WORDS we say
  2. The TONE in which we say it
  3. Our NON-VERBALS (facial expression, body posture, gestures and actions)

Did you know that studies show we pay attention to:

  • 7% of what people actually say
  • 38% of their tone when they say it and
  • 55% of what their body language says?

And for us to actually TRUST the message (and the messenger) all three of these components need to match up in a believable way.

The classic example that all of us parents, as part-time referees of children conflicts, have experienced is the “insincere I’m sorry”. Your child has just grudgingly apologized to someone else, but they said it in a rush, sarcastically or so quietly that no one could hear. Eye contact was non-existent and their body language screams that they are looking for even the smallest excuse to fight some more.

Or maybe it was you or your spouse with this unconvincing apology because you desperately want to avoid further discussion or more conflict. I’ve been there too!

How have you seen this play out in your home? What are some techniques you have learned that help you communicate to your kids through more than just your words?