Communication has two parts, verbal and nonverbal. Both aspects convey vital information to the listener.
Verbal, of course, is the portion that is spoken out loud. It includes the words used and how they are put together.
Nonverbal communication is everything else — it includes facial expression, tone of voice, eye contact, posture, hand movements, and other indications of meaning, whether intended or not.
For this reason, it’s important to be very aware of what tone of voice you are using when you speak to your children.
Often it’s not what you say but how you say it that conveys your underlying message.
Children are particularly good at picking up on these cues, especially with their parents.
Pay attention to how loudly, softly, quickly, or slowly you speak.
Remember that you also communicate with eye contact and facial expression.
If you are looking away it can signal that you are either preoccupied or not being completely direct.
Saying something too quickly, or too sharply, can undermine the message.
Be sure that all your messages are consistent, in word and expression.