Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Can I Have Your Eyes? (A #Parenting Post)

With a crazy and chaotic household, sometimes the instinct is to yell from one room to another. But it's not always successful. Especially with our daughter - especially if we want her to do something. Like wash her hands for dinner. Or get ready for bed.

Sadly, her neurobehavioralist has had to give us the same advice several times because we'll use it for awhile and then forget. But he's encouraged us to make sure we "have her eyes." That is, she must be looking at us when we ask her to do something.

Part of it is psychological - if she's looking at us when we speak, it's harder for her to answer without actually listening to the words, it's more likely that an affirmative response is meant - that when she says "Ok" then she actually will get up and get her hands washed and come down for dinner.

And probably at the same time he's also reminding us of better behavior as a family. Because we don't just yell to Rachel from room-to-room, but each other as well. And she to us. But if you're yelling from another room, there's no guarantee that other person is in a position to listen, or isn't already in conversation with someone else in that room. Or on the phone.

So we've been trying to do more of it ourselves - going and finding the other person before speaking. 

But it's also worked wonders with Rachel who has had a tendency to yell from her room and then be frustrated when she doesn't get a response or is told that someone else was already talking. 

Instead of reprimanding (usually Rachel's yelling to Lori), I've been trying to remember to ask her "Do you have her eyes?" when she yells from another room. She may be a little frustrated at the response, but I think it's better than a yelled reprimand and we have seen an uptick in her coming to where she can see us and then raising her hand.

Hopefully this is the last time he has to remind us to make sure we have her eyes and now it just becomes an ingrained behavior that helps all of us.
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