Try this today. When your child is talking to you, turn and look at him – intentionally giving him/her full eye contact. Take in her expression, her eyes, her message. Do that several times a day, at least, over a few weeks’ time and see if there’s a difference in behavior, in connection, in cooperation.
Think of what it would be like to go in to speak to your boss and she continued to do what she was doing, looking down at her papers while you talked. What kind of a feeling of worth, of being heard, respected or taken seriously would that give you?
Most parents agree that the one time they for sure have eye contact with their children is when they are scolding them. Then they are right in their face. Doesn’t count!
What a simple thing it is to give our children this emotional boost of clear, positive, I’m-interested-in-what-you-have-to-say eye contact. No, perhaps it won’t be scintillating conversation you’ll hear. It might be something you’ve even heard before – or the made-up version of their favorite knock knock joke. But to have the eyes of a loved parent means they are being heard, being appreciated, being considered, being loved and, in our fast, hurried lives, that’s a pretty powerful gift to give and receive.
Try it and eventually you might begin to see your children return the favor when you are speaking to them.