iStock_000005977385Small-Eye-contact

In this age of tablets, Xbox Ones, and PS4s, it can be nice to get some real face time (and not Facetime on your iPhone!).  Often adults stress the importance of eye contact with children, but they might not explain to the child why looking at someone is important in an interaction.  So try this: the next time a child asks you a “yes” or “no” question (i.e., “Can I play Angry Birds?”), do not respond with verbal language.  Instead, wait until they take the time to look at you, then either shake or nod your head.  If the child is having difficulty looking at you, make a noise to show that you are pondering their request, such as “hmmm,” which would be a cue to alert the other person to you and your response.   That way, you have given the other person reason and opportunity to establish a line of non-verbal communication with you, and you can make their attention to you motivating by nodding your head to indicate, “yes – we can have another teenage mutant ninja turtle battle” – or whatever else your child might be requesting.

Posted by: Andy, Speech-Language Pathologist