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It’s an all too familiar argument: a collection of angry words and frantic breaths, the threats punctuated by disappointed sighs. You’re towering above your child — demanding to know why rules were broken, why a petty crime was committed. She has no answers for you, however. Instead she stares at the floor. Her posture is weak; her fingers are twitching; and she refuses to face your fury with an upward glance.
This is a situation defined by mistakes — many of which are spawned from your choice of words and looming position.
The need for discipline is vital. Parents must create boundaries for their children and must subsequently expect those boundaries to be maintained. Rules are essential — establishing structure and morality. Trying to prove the need for them through imposing postures and a loud tone is not recommended, however.
Children are formed of small bones and meager heights. The world therefore seems grand, and perhaps a little frightening, from their points of view. When parents choose to stand above them — shouting out accusations and demanding answers — the ability to communicate is lost. It’s replaced instead with anxiety. Youths will be unable to offer explanations. They’ll just be overwhelmed.
It is essential therefore that all parents — including you — become aware of body language and tone. All conversations should involve eye contact. This requires adjusting heights accordingly, allowing the levels to be even. Vocals should also be contained to stern, but steady, limits. Shrieks will offer no rewards.
This distinction will ensure that children are more aware of arguments, rather than being too nervous to comprehend the words.