When it comes to facial expressions, there’s no one-size-fits-all.
But here are some tips to make your child’s facial expression less awkward and more natural.1.
Use a different voiceWhen your child is younger, they may start to use their voice to communicate with you.
But, as their body matures, they’re more likely to be able to learn to use a different tone to communicate.
And, this can make your baby’s facial expressions more natural, according to Dr. J.T. Jones, a clinical psychologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.2.
Don’t make your voice grow louderIf your child starts to grow a little more animated or grow more vocal, your baby may begin to feel more confident in his or her facial expressions.
But it’s not always a good thing to let your child grow into their facial expressions like that.
The best thing to do is to teach them that the expression they’re making is their own, Jones said.3.
Don´t use facial expressions that you know are awkwardWhen you’re a parent, you want your child to feel comfortable with his or she expression, Jones says.
So, if your child has difficulty saying the words “Hello,” “Thank you,” “I love you,” or “I want to be with you,” you can always give them a different facial expression.
And if you don´t want your baby to grow into these expressions, you can also use a tone to express your disappointment.4.
Use an expression that sounds natural and comfortableWhen your baby is growing up, they’ll have more confidence expressing their emotions, Jones explains.
So when you are having to explain something to your child, they can be confident expressing themselves.
You can even use a facial expression to make it easier for your child.
For example, you could use a cute, smiling face to say, “Hi, Mom!” or a smiling face that’s more reserved, like a “Gee, Mom, can I borrow your blanket?”
If your baby doesn’t get it, you might want to add a tone that is more playful, like, “Thank You, Mom.”
If your infant is older, he or she may have a harder time understanding the meaning behind your facial expressions because they may be used to hearing a lot of other speech, Jones adds.
So it’s important to be very flexible with your baby when it comes the facial expression of the moment.
You don’t want your facial expression changing when you’re changing what he or her is saying, so be careful with your choice of expression.5.
If your child isn’t feeling comfortable, try using a different emotionInstead of feeling embarrassed by your baby´s facial expression, it may be helpful to try a different one.
When your baby shows an expression of happiness or sadness, you may want to try using another emotion, like joy, sadness, or fear, Jones explained.
Your baby may also want to use the word “Oh, yeah” or “That’s so cute!” when you smile.
You want to give your child the option to use your voice, even when it’s uncomfortable, Jones suggests.
To learn more about the importance of facial expressions and how to make them more natural in your child or toddler, visit Dr. Jones website.
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