Body language key to parenting, expert says

Published On: Oct 24 2013 07:12:37 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 24 2013 07:29:23 AM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

It's not always easy to communicate with your children, and it's not always about what you're saying.

Many parents may be using the wrong body language to talk to their children and not know it.

"Kids are going to respond to how we are responding to them, so it's important for you to send the proper tone to get the right reaction," said body language expert, Susan Constantine.

Constantine says talk to your children eye to eye. Get down on their level no matter their age and always stay calm.

"When our gestures are more in control, keeping within frame with palms open, we're going to get a much better response from our children," Constantine said.

Constantine says the biggest mistake parents make is pointing the finger.

"The blaming and shaming. If we move up into their personal space they will back up and close up," Constantine said.

Constantine says in order to get your children to open up to you, use soft facial expressions and tilt your head. Listen to them and don't interrupt. Lean forward to validate what they are saying. Set the tone with your eyes and eyebrows so the child knows you're serious. Mirror your child's body language to build rapport and let them feel safe and comfortable about opening up to you.

"Kids lie for two reasons, fear of punishment and great reward. If they know they will be punished you've set the tone for them to lie to you," Constantine said.

Constantine also says to use open ending statement and questions. And if you need to examine your body language, put yourself on camera and watch your behavior and body language and then make corrections.