Eye Contact… we expect it, but do we give it?
How often have you heard yourself say to your children … “Look at me when I talk to you!” We have all done it at one point or another. In fact, I said it just the other day, which inspired me to write this post.
Was I inspired to write about how to get your children behave better, have immediate obedience, and always conduct themselves with proper manners? No, I was inspired to write this through my own self reflection and criticism … which is sometimes difficult to perceive, let alone do.
You see lately I have been busy, barely getting things done and, quite honestly, spread a little too thin. Definitely living in a survival mode where I have been multitasking a little too much. This isn’t something unique to me, rather something we all go through at one point or another in our lives. We all have times of heaping more onto our already full plates; whether it was purely by choice, or whether it is just that season where life tends to throw a little more our way. We have all walked this road and while spinning a few extra plates is sometimes necessary, it is also wise to remember to slow down enough each, and every day to embrace what truly matters.
To get back in touch with the heart of your family and homeschool.
Upon uttering these words “Look at me when I talk to you” I could feel frustration creeping in … then I realized something.
I, through all my busyness, had not been offering the same to my children! …Gulp!
My frustration eased and I quickly started to get things back on track.
I had been so busy that each time my kids wanted to share something with me or ask me a question, I had my nose buried in one important task or another. Sure, I’d look up from the laundry, dishes, homeschool planning, or meal prep every now and again to let them know I was listening, but I never stopped fussing with my task at hand.
Of course, there are moments when our task cannot wait, but this isn’t about that. This is about when we get so pre-occupied with lesser tasks that we can become out of touch with what truly matters. Honestly, the shirts can wait a few more moments to be folded, I can dry my hands and leave the dishes, the printing of worksheets can wait! Listening to our children, showing love and respect, being in tune to the family is so much more valuable than perfectly folded laundry.
When we give eye contact we are doing so much more than just showing the other person we are listening … we are showing them:
- How much we care
- How special the other person is to us
- They have a safe place to share
- Their ideas and experiences matter
- You believe in them
Children over fill our hearts with copious amounts of pure love and pure joy; they are amazing little people and deserve better than a mumbled back response over the pot of spaghetti sauce or heaps of laundry! If we, as their parents, are not taking the time to fully engage with them and model how to do so, then who will?
Life is all about a process of give and take. When you give respect, love and eye contact, it will be reciprocated back to you.
We have an opportunity to learn from our kids, all we need to do is slow down enough to engage with them; it’s part of that give and take. They can help us tune back into some our childhood whimsy and innocence. Eye to eye we are pulled back into the world of our kids, looking at it through their eyes and perspective. Discovering once again the beauty and wonder of everything around us!
One of my favourite quotes is from Mother Teresa, which although she doesn’t mention eye contact or children, she does address how being kind and merciful to one another will leave the other person feeling better and happier. Isn’t that what we want as mothers? To have our family feel loved, respected and happy.
“Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”
~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Our children are an absolute treasure and gift; their eyes have a special sparkle which is magically contagious…
All you have to do to catch this magical sparkle is slow down enough to look into their beautiful eyes!
What sparkle did you catch from your kids today?