Avoiding looking in the eyes.
Whether we’re adults or we’re kids, when we don’t want to deal with what is happening, we avoid eye contact. When we’re upset, hurt, or acting a lie, we don’t want to look someone in the eyes. We shift away, turn our face, or look someplace else. Sound familiar?
My kids used to do that. I’d start giving instructions for a job that was to be done, and the kid simply turned his head and looked the other way or started doing something else – or both. Even toddlers are adept at looking the other way. After all, if I don’t see you telling me something, I can just ignore it, right?! If I don’t see you, I don’t hear you. And if I don’t hear you, I don’t have to obey.
One day, I stopped my charade of instructions and told the kid, “Look me in the eyes!”
He spun around, startled. I started talking. He shifted his eyes away from me.
Again, I said, “Look me in the eye!”
This time he turned back and looked right at me. Now I had his attention. Now he had no choice but to listen.
What “look at my eyes” does
I discovered that when I forced a child to pay attention to what I said or made him look right at me, it was easier to make sure he understood. It was harder for him to deny that he heard what I said. He could no longer say, “I didn’t hear you tell me to do that!”
Whether your kid is a toddler, a tomboy, a tween, or a teen, use this tactic when you want to know he is listening to you. Use this tactic when you know he’s trying hard to avoid obedience.
“Look at my eyes!” I’d tell my kids. Or “Look at me!” OR “Look me in the eyes!”
Sometimes I’d take two fingers and point straight at my eyes without saying a word. The kid knew it was best for him to look at my eyes.
Saying these words brings the issue to the forefront and helps your child focus. It also helps you hone in on your need to remain focused so he will obey.
Photo credits: Isa Karkus through Pixabay.com