The purpose of this study was to identify metacommunicative behaviors between nurses and patients in a pediatric unit. The research method included observation using videotaping. Data were collected from December, 2001 to February, 2002. Total six nurses, and eight patients and their mothers in a pediatric unit participated in this study. The interactions were videotaped under the participants' consent. The participants were observed for total 8 hours over 2-day period. Special episodes which were identified as metacommunicative behaviors in the taped interactions were transcribed. Transcription included verbal and nonverbal interactions. Selected episodes were classified using Mitchell's definition. Each classified definitions were named, and categorized by its purpose. The results were as follows: Nineteen metacommunicative behaviors which used frequently by nurses-approaching, mediating eye level, eye contact, touching, encouraging, turnabout, mimic voice, giving choices, friendly demand, expansion, tagging, repeating and confirming, identification, reflection, baby talk, symbolization, description of acts, relaxed posture, turning away- were identified and organized into four categories. They were call for attention, facilitating response, empathy, and tension release. In conclusion, nurses in this study used metacommunicative behaviors frequently and these behaviors were effective in interacting with children. It is suggested that any educational programs to teach communication skills to nurses need to include techniques on metacommunicative behaviors. This will help nurses to be more sensitive to different characteristics of their patients.