All Behaviour is Communication

Before language develops, humans communicate through intuition, actions and sound. These signals are sent out to communicate our basic safety needs. As our brains learn about safety, emotions and language - we begin to adjust to our surroundings. The part we show the world around us is our behaviour and feelings.

Our primary language of behaviour is what communicates these needs and desires. At the most basic level, we learn that certain actions, sounds and behaviours allow these needs to be met - or not. Whether we're babies motioning our needs through sounds, children with BIG feelings that don't know where to put themselves, or adults using words - we're all driven to communicate our varying levels of safety and who's around the meet them.

You may come from an upbringing where your needs were seen and felt as too much. Unless you've done some work to unravel the emotions surrounding those moments, you're likely to treat the young people in your life in a similar tone. It's a familiar point of view and your exposure to it, if even it makes you feel uncomfortable, becomes your foundation to connection - or disconnection.

What if this view shifted to 'what do they need?' instead of they're misbehaving? As adults, we learn how to mask emotions, but young people wear their hearts on their sleeves.

A child throwing a tantrum is not a badly behaved child. It's a child who isn't feeling safe or like their needs are being met.

A child ignoring you is one who doesn't understand or who resists what they're being asked. Remember, we're all human and have autonomy over our bodies and minds.

Every moment, they learn about behaviour, emotions, communication and connection. Instead of assuming the worst or seeing their behaviour as bad - you can ask yourself:

What can they learn from me?
Do they need to self-soothe?
Do they need another perspective?
Do they need a quiet space to come down from their emotions?
How can I help?
What are they trying to communicate?

They're always communicating how safe they feel and what needs aren't being met. Different ages have varying levels of communication based on language, their past experiences and if they trust these feelings to have a safe space to land. Each moment teaches them what to do next time this happens. Our human bodies are wired to adapt and remember experiences. It's a survival instinct. If they have a safe space to move through, they will likely adopt this perspective next time it happens. If the experience was traumatising and didn't meet their needs, chances are they will spiral the next time it comes about.

Our goal is to pinpoint how and what they are communicating. Then connect to them so they can learn how to move through feelings, learn to self, and co-regulate.

Young Minds always look to us for how to communicate and be in the world. It's why they often look up to older people.

When you shift the lens through which you see them, your connection and dynamic will change for the better.