If you haven’t already, talk with your kids and/or partner about eye contact & connection. Share your observations from this month. If age appropriate, talk about whether you feel eye contact is an important family value or not. Ask them questions about it. Share insight from last week’s research.
Come up with your own questions of the day! This is an easy and fun way to bring your family in on your conversation. Write them all down (include everyone’s answers if they start to answer while making up questions. Writing down someone’s thoughts in front of them can be very powerful. It shows them their thoughts are worthy of notation).
Make it a game: Write your questions on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Pull them out at the dinner table for instant conversation & engagement.
How have your feelings about eye contact changed since the beginning of the month? Is it coming easier? Still a struggle? Are your children making more eye contact? Write down your observations about your/their progress.
Bonus activity: “What color are their eyes?” You can turn eye contact into a sort of game with older children. If you’re at a restaurant, ask them what color the server’s eye were (after the server has walked away). At the grocery store, ask them what color eyes the cashier had after you’ve walked away. Ask them the color of their friends’ eyes, their grandparents, neighbors, etc.
Has making more eye contact made you more empathetic? In other words, do you feel like you’ve been better able to understand how others might be feeling by using more eye contact? Have you been able to pause and see others, understand their feelings, or even share those feelings? Write about how working on eye contact this month has changed how you understand the feelings of others.
Were you able to slow down a bit this month? Slowing down is a critical part of connection. It allows us to focus without a time crunch or wanting to move on to the next thing while we “listen.” What are your road blocks when it comes to slowing down? A busy schedule? Your own thoughts? Expectations? The habit of feeling on the go? Guilt? Write about them.
What were your favorite questions and answers from this month? Write them down. Did you take a moment to answer the question of the day when it popped up each day (even if just in your thoughts)? Why or why not?
Write your own observations about how eye contact, asking questions, and listening has influenced your connections with family, friends, and daily interactions.
Many of our parenting frustrations happen during transitions—from the house to the car or car seat, from school to summer break, from nighttime activities to going to sleep. Have you tried making more eye contact during these times of transition? Knowing what you know now about the power of eye contact, do you think making more eye contact could make a difference during these times of transition? Why or why not?