How to understand teenagers’ secret language

If Tracy Hogg taught us the secret language of infants to correctly interpret the various types of crying or the way to frown the chin, Susana Fuster teaches us today to correctly interpret the expressions of the face of our grown children and to give proper weight to their very often irritating postures. But Fuster above all goes further: it suggests how it is also possible to help them, through their non-verbal language, to express themselves correctly, to give the right idea of ​​who they are, to themselves and to others.

“If the adolescent adopts open and expansive postures – says Fuster – he will feel more confident, confident and assertive, less stressed and defenseless, as well as more inclined to participate in new projects and new challenges. Teach him to take the reins of his body and not to succumb to apathy. ”

Expansive poses express security, self-confidence and decision. They are characterized by an erect body, chest out, feet well anchored to the ground and limbs far from the body. It is the contraction postures that must be paid more attention: falling shoulders, low head and sunken torso can hide negative emotions or lack of self-esteem.

Paying attention to non-verbal language does not only mean noting shrugs, tight lips or crossed arms, but also knowing his usual behaviors (usually the volume of his voice is high? He gesticulates a lot or a little?), The context in which finds and the congruence between what it says and how it says it.

In “Children who are silent, gestures that speak” (Salani Editore) Susana Fuster has put together some data and scientific research to say that in the end it is not so difficult to understand your child if you know how to do it.

Attention to eyebrows
Did you know that eyebrows are one of the most useful parts of the body to identify others? It was demonstrated in 2002 by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

We should teach our children to look into the eyes. Eye
contact is the first step in establishing the basis for a good conversation. According to some studies such as that conducted by the British psychologist Michael Argyle, in a conversation we support the interlocutor’s gaze for about 40 percent of the time as we speak and 75 percent as we listen.

How to recognize a sincere emotion
If the boy is covering up what he feels, perhaps you will find that the muscles are not all activated with the same intensity, therefore one side of the face appears slightly more marked. In addition, also take into account the duration of its expression: if it is sincere it will last less than five seconds.

How to recognize sadness
One of the most reliable signs that indicate that your child is sad involves eyebrows. Note if the inner ends lift upwards trying to join. It is a very difficult muscle movement to perform voluntarily. In addition, a vertical wrinkle may also appear, a sign of extreme sadness that will probably be accompanied by shiny eyes.

The importance of contact
Although in this period the desire for privacy and the estrangement from parents increases, most teenagers yearn for loving and intimate contact even if not in the same proportions and quantities of the past. The trick is to leave your child with his space, not to invade his private bubble and learn to decipher when it is the best time for affectionate physical contact. The benefits for his health and his psycho-emotional development are guaranteed and the non-verbal message he receives from you is clear: “I care, I worry about you”.


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