Adults looking to explain concepts to the child need to exert great patience while teaching. For example, understanding honesty by itself can be a toll on the child. Unless he is not clear about it, he will not be able to practice it. You could use stories, situations and imaginary friends to teach this concept in different ways. If you get impatient, annoyed or angry with him, he will shift into a “defensive zone”. Your impatience will be visible in your demeanour and your body language to the child. And then will not be able to open up to the concept quickly. The gestures used by us adults are enough to convey our state of mind or emotions to the child.
If at all you see the child shifting into a defensive zone, there are body language signs you can look out for. You will probably see him with a bent head, or crossed hands, or stepping back, or with a sad look on his face. Catch yourself in time before you discourage him from learning the concept you are trying to teach. Go back to repeating the story you told him earlier or try a new approach. When you do explain, use open arms and a smile on your face so that the child is not naturally defensive. Maintain regular eye contact with your child when speaking or listening to them. It shows that you are present and attentive, and it helps create a sense of connection.
My daughter had started using knitted eyebrows whenever she spoke. She had picked it up from someone around her. She would appear tense and anxious every time she spoke. As a family, we taught her to relax her eyebrows, no matter what she wanted to say. This concept took a while to get through to her. We needed to smile and straighten her brows for her and repeat that she did not appear happy when she spoke. By now she has gotten this message so thoroughly that she reaches out to straighten my brows every time they come together. And believe it or not, it immediately transforms me and her into a smiling state.