Nonverbal Communication in Toddlers

Communication is an essential part of everyone’s world and therefore it is very important for children also. The reason why verbal communication in childcare is so important is the fact that the children need to learn how to communicate their needs on time.

Adults can use words, but for children is a bit difficult. Especially for toddlers is very difficult.  However, keep in mind that babies do communicate and that nonverbal communication in toddlers is amazing and unique.

Infants use sounds such as crying, squealing, or cooing to explain to you that they need something from you.  There are also gestures and body movements to give some additional sense to it.

Why Is Nonverbal Communication In Toddlers So Important For Their Development?

The main reason why this is so important is that by emphasizing nonverbal communication in toddlers you are actually reducing the frustration of not being “heard”. When toddlers’ needs are not met they are usually screaming and crying.

Sometimes when they are hungry they kick their legs for example. Every baby is different and their responses can be different depending on their environment. Still, the most important reason why nonverbal communication in toddlers is crucial in their development is the fact that they grow through adults responding to their communication.

When they are  6-8 months old they start to learn and use manual signs to express their feelings and needs.  Gestures that are used via the baby’s hand are important since the muscles are needed for speech development in later stages.

The Benefits That Babies Receive When They Use Non-Verbal Communication

Both verbal and non-verbal communication in childcare is equally important. We can even say that for adults. However, when we have babies, that is basically the only way of communication that they have and that is why we as adults have to create a positive environment for a child’s development.

Communication is the most powerful tool that humans own.  One of the greatest benefits of it is that you are managing to convey your needs. Still, for babies is extremely challenging to do that. That is why we have to invest all of our efforts into understanding them and basically developing our own “nonverbal” language with them.

The benefits are huge, however, every baby is different, and depending on developmental stages and preferences, every baby benefits on its own.

Still, here are some universal benefits:

  • Social interaction
  • Bonding with parents and family
  • Successful later in school
  • Reducing frustration

Social Interaction Benefit Of Nonverbal Communication In Toddlers

Maybe it sounds rather strange, but Nonverbal Communication Is actually Predominantly Relational. Communicating emotions and feelings nonverbally will help toddlers develop better bonds in kindergarten or at the playground for example.

Through smiles and cooing,  they can convey liking, anger, preferences, and similar. An increase in social interaction with other children by engaging in signs and two-way interactions will definitely be noticeable if you practice it on a daily basis.

Nonverbal communication can come in extremely handy when distance or noise makes it hard for children to understand each other. Of course, they will receive benefits in their social interactions through practicing, however, when we have a playground situation, you could also be very helpful to your child. For example, you may use a “thumbs up” to reward a nice behavior. That way they will understand the sign and use it with their peers also.

Similarly, if there is a behavior you don’t like, you can use your facial expression and body language to send a message like shaking your head. That way, your child will imitate you and learn how to communicate with other children in a similar way.

Bonding With Parents And Family

You will agree that the greatest bond that a child needs to have is the one that they will develop with their partners.  It is created through imitation and joint interaction.

It is a well-known fact that children don’t listen but they tend to imitate their parents’ behavior. That is why your role as a parent is to be extra careful what kind of signals are sent when your child is around. In addition, your job is to create a positive environment for nonverbal communication.

If the environment is negative, your bond can be permanently damaged and that is why you need to be extra careful. A child needs to know the boundaries, but it may never feel rejected by you. In addition, when your bond is strong, in that way you are also helping your child learn how to relate to and get along with other people and we all know that social skills are essential later in life.

Academic Success

By using nonverbal cues early in life, children will reach their highest academic potential. According to statistics, we can say that this information is 100% correct and that is why we are going to explain it thoroughly.

There are all kinds of games you can play with your children that can enable their intelligence. For example, you can place a cracker on the counter where it is just out of their reach.  When they see that the activity is challenging, is a great way to help them understand the concept of  “more”. At that moment you can create an association between the meaning of more and the object.

As soon as they start to think logically, it will be better for them in the future. Through repetition of this type of word and gesture association, they will eventually understand the power of their words. Through associations and corresponding body language, they will slowly build up their verbal communication skills.

Reducing Frustration

Any individual is getting frustrated when their basic needs are not met. A child is no different than an adult, but a bit worse if it still does not have the ability to speak.

When you respond to your baby’s crying and screaming, you are actually reducing its frustration. Tantrums are especially challenging and you need to balance your responses. You do not want your baby to be frustrated, but you need to make your child aware from an early age that they cannot have everything they want.

Make sure that you use your body language to show your child that you’re trying to understand their feelings since they will definitely pick up on them. When your child looks frustrated, make eye contact and use a calm, reassuring tone of voice. A pleasant tone of voice and a relaxed body posture will make your baby feel secure. Give a lot of cuddles if they like them.

All in all, what you need to do always is to bend down to your child’s level. That way you are showing that you want to be close. A baby will feel secure and calm.

READ MORE: HHC: An Introduction to a Promising Cannabinoid

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