Habit of the Week: Be Observant - Gather data through all senses
Did you know that over 95% of what we communicate is not from our words. Better said, our non-verbal communication has a lot more to say than what we said :-) Our tone of voice, facial expression, body posture, and physical gestures communicate meaning with great impact. I share this fact because I believe that a conscious effort to listen and communicate with compassion and understanding can go a long way to improving our communication with our children. The simple act of crouching down to their eye level says a lot about our willingness to listen and understand what they are trying to say. A gentle touch on a shoulder with a smile can change a poor disposition in a heartbeat. Using a tone of voice that sounds like caring can draw a child in to us instead of shutting them down. Our conscious choice to be present to our children with all of our senses will greatly improve our relationships and teach our children that thoughtful non-verbal communication is so much more effective than unrestrained bouts of our limbic system. Think growth language instead of grouch language. Check out the parent link below for some ideas on how to productively phrase growth language.
Here are a few ways to help our children with this habit.
Heart - intentionally listen without talking to an entire thought being expressed by a friend or family member.
Mind - turn off the sound on the television while watching a show and try to explain what the conversation is.
Body - try to explain something by only using body language.
Soul - take the time to use all of your senses to understand something new.
“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the stars and the mountains above. Let them look at the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.” - David Polis