By December 1, 2016

Shoulder fronting of kids – know the difference


This is a pose typically displayed by our daughters almost instinctively when asked to smile for the camera. Of course media has had a lot of influence on why small girls pose in such a manner like adults, but that is besides the point.

A child fronting her shoulder in this manner and looking at the camera is displaying a totally different behaviour from the one below.


Here again the girl is fronting her shoulder to point towards the camera. The question for a parent then is – can you spot the difference?

Looking closing at the two pictures should reveal that when the girl in the first picture is fronting her shoulder to face the camera, she is also exposing her neck. Instinctively, we tend to hide our necks when we feel threatened since the neck hosts a bunch of very critical nerves and tracks. Any situation making one feel the need to defend oneself would make the neck disappear, which is what the girl in the second picture is doing. She has lifted both her shoulders up. This gives what is called a turtle effect. Not necessary she is seeing any high risk threat; but her smile is also a social smile. And therein lies a cue that perhaps she is feeling a bit socially anxious with having her photograph clicked. Looking again at the girl in the first picture will tell you that she has not risen her shoulders. She is comfortable and experiencing no stress.

As parents, it is up to us to be able to tell minor differences in the body language of our children so that we can heed to their happiness and worries and be able to interact better with them.

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Posted in: How To's

About the Author:

Khyati Bhatt has trained for mastery in Nonverbal Communication with retired FBI special agent Joe Navarro. She founded Simply Body Talk in 2013 to help individuals and corporates fine tune their nonverbal behavior and nonverbal communication. Khyati believes in taking a scientific approach to body language. Her experience as a wealth manager, currency trader, and family entrepreneur has helped sharpen her nonverbal instincts. She is a fervent reader and has explored the work of many psychologists and anthropologists in her field of work.

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