Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is used by man right from birth. It includes gestures, looks and touch, and is as essential as verbalisation, because human beings manage to convey rejection, affection, empathy, and of course, neglect and love, through it. In day-to-day life, this type of communication is an essential part of relationships, whether between friends or family members, as part of a set of coded messages through which we express ourselves. Marital partners often use non-verbal cues as a common tool to express dissatisfaction and frustration. Here are some of the common methods used by them:
Silence is a popular weapon. People try to show anger or discontent through it. If a spouse does not realise that something is wrong, the person's dissatisfaction grows. Many think that a husband or wife is obliged to understand their attitude.
If a person shuts up completely, the partner has to guess what is behind the silence. As time passes, the silence takes on another purpose, which is punishment. The person will deliberately not speak just because the partner was unable to understand the real reason behind his/her silence. This is an agonising situation for a spouse who may not be telepathic.

Indifference is another powerful form of non-verbal communication. A spouse becomes indifferent to matters of the house, the children, sexual intimacy and so on. The latter is commonly used by women when they are trying to say that something is wrong.
Men generally use pending work as an excuse to avoid their wives. They say they find it better to stay late at work rather than take work home. At least at work, they feel they can avoid their partner's negative attitude. Friends are also used in such circumstances. People surround themselves with friends all the time so they can avoid intimacy. In this case, we use a friend as a shield to fill the time that would probably be spent with the spouse.
Solitary hyper-activity or spending all one's spare time alone without including the mate are also ways of demonstrating that something is wrong. Exchange of affection also ceases in such situations.

Non-verbal cues that can strengthen a relationship
Destructive non-verbal communication can make an unresolved situation worse, undermining the relationship. Positive communication streng-thens the self-confidence and security of a couple.
A look of encouragement is often all that is needed for positive non-verbal communication. A husband who takes out time to reach home on time or go out with his wife is acknowledging that even within the intricate scheme of work, this coexistence is part of their priorities.
A simple touch also fits into the category of positive non-verbal communication. It is especially important when someone is in pain. A touch, whether fleeting or prolonged, conveys understanding even in silence, and empowers the partner.
Let us not forget, however, that verbalisation is equally important. By talking about something that bothered us and was not effectively resolved, we can strengthen understanding with our spouses and confirm what they interpreted from our non-verbal cues.
Silence does not always mean that a person is hiding behind it. However, false interpretation can give wings to a partner's imagination, making things even more difficult in a relationship. So make your attitude clear and express yourself honestly before things become unmanageable.

Play it safe

Parents and relatives are concerned about the safety of children, especially if they are babies. Mothers have constant doubts and fears over their children's safety. Thus, toys need to be purchased after careful consideration.
As a baby wants to bite and grab everything that comes his way, parents should take special care when they go shopping. It is especially important to monitor children's play. "During the first year, the baby takes everything, including toys, in his mouth and nibbles on them, which also serves to massage the gums," said a study by the Association for the Promotion of Child Safety (APSI) in Portugal.
If the child is irritable by nature, he needs toys that constantly stimulate him. Playpens and children's gyms allow babies and small children to explore their surroundings safely. They make life easier for mothers because they allow the execution of important day-to-day tasks without interruption. The mother can cook while the baby is playing, and watch him at the same time.
How to choose a playpen
As with other toys, choosing the right playpen is essential. It should be appropriate for the intended age group. Note the minimum safety requirements carefully. Always read the warnings and instructions and, if possible, remove the playground from the packaging to examine it thoroughly.
In Portugal, all manufacturers need to follow EU directives for the marketing of toys and baby products. This is known as the CE mark. It must be clearly visible on the toy or its packaging before it is introduced in the market. It should also include the manufacturer's name, business name, brand name and the address of the manufacturer, dealer or importer.
When to use a playpen
The use of a playpen is recommended from the time a child begins to explore the world around him. "Although the baby does not start moving all of a sudden, prepare the house for what can happen when he eventually does. Something untoward can happen when you least expect it," the study said.
Since the floor is not the safest place for playing, a children's gym is the best alternative. The playpen should be used in specific situations, such as when the supervising adult is bathing or cooking. In case of the latter, it is recommended that you place the playpen in the kitchen to see what the child is doing, and to keep track of his activities. A major advantage of a playpen is that it can be moved easily.
However, some safety regulations should be followed. If your baby is often alone with an adult, you should choose a sufficiently large playpen so the child can move freely. Use it only for small periods of time. Also check the method of assembly and the mechanism of opening/closing the pen.
Do not put toys that may harm the child, or others used for climbing or stacking, in the playpen. Last but not the least, do not put the playpen near objects that can be pulled or accessed by children, such as wires or lamps. The playground can be unsafe if parents are not attentive.