Child-Friendly Parenting

Look Them in the Eyes

It’s hard, I know.  But if you want to really connect with your children—even if they are crying, yelling, or otherwise having a meltdown—then do your best to look them in the eyes because that is how we help them find something to anchor themselves to.  Really look into them.  Really speak to the real part of them.  Whether you’re talking about their day or telling them that you love them or trying to help them calm down, look deep into their soul and draw out the part of them that is scared, lonely, confused, or hurt.  As you speak to them, let them know with your eyes that it’s okay—that you won’t hurt them, that you’re here to help them, that it’s all going to be okay.  And as you speak to them, let them know with your eyes that you accept them—all of them, even the unpleasant parts of them—and that you love them and are here for them and will comfort them and will show them the way.  Let your children know that you see them.  I know it’s hard.  It’s hard even when everything is going great.  Looking people in the eyes makes you vulnerable (even if you’re the parent and you’re interacting with your children).  But it also builds the relationship and makes the connection between you that much stronger.  Look your children in the eyes.  Especially when they are crying and looking to you for help or comfort or justice or answers.  You might not have all the answers, and you might not be able to let them have whatever it is that they are wanting, but you can look them in the eyes when you speak to them, and through that point of contact you can let them know that they are being seen and heard and felt and known.