Why Your Children Need To Make Eye Contact When Talking To Others
“I have realized how little eye contact we make with others as we rush through our day and how hard it actually is to be fully present in the moment…”
– Coach Sabine Brandt from NobilityCoaching.com.
Making eye contact is an important element in good conversation skills. We can get so rushed in our day to day activities that we fail to fully appreciate those around us. Making eye contacts lets others know that we value them and that we’re paying attention. Eye contact is a must know skill for ourselves as well as our kiddos.
Teaching Good Eye Contact
1. Model good eye contact yourself. Many adults have trouble making eye contact, too. If that’s you, follow the same strategies recommended for your children.
2. Don’t be surprised if your child has difficulty making eye contact with others. This will improve with maturity and training.
What Not To Do
– Don’t be embarrassed if your child ducks their head when they speak directly to someone.
– Don’t apologize for their behavior.
– Publicly don’t prod your child to look at someone’s face.
– Don’t tell everyone that your child is just shy.
– Don’t put labels on your child’s actions. You don’t want to make a big deal about a behavior they will likely outgrow.
How You Can Help
• Recommend that they look in a person’s general direction when they speak to someone.
• When you’re at home, help them practice looking at people when they talk.
• You can encourage them to look at your forehead or your face while they tell you about their day.
• Play the “Let’s Lock Eyes” game to see who can look at each other the longest without glancing away.
As they become more comfortable with these games and strategies at home, they will start connecting to other people when they talk to them, and “look them in the eye.”
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