As my children close in on the ripe old age of eight, I am trying to hone in on a few matters of etiquette we've not yet mastered. Specifically, the male 2/3 of my crew still struggles to make eye contact with adults when speaking to them. Despite repeated conversations about its importance and some role playing, eye contact with adults has remained an elusive goal.
A couple of weeks ago, while watching a Dateline program regarding how to protect children from predators, one of the experts spoke about the importance of eye contact. She pointed out that when a child looks up and into an adult's eyes it makes their posture and countenance appear more confident and reduces their likelihood of being selected as a victim. She off-handedly mentioned asking your children the eye color of the adult they were speaking to when you walk away from a conversation.
It was as if a lightbulb went off in my head--I finally had an idea that might work for my boys! After each encounter with an adult we've been having a 'pop quiz' regarding eye color. I have been pleasantly surprised at the difference it has made.
If you happen to know us in real life, I apologize in advance for the deep stares you may now get...especially if you are wearing sunglasses. :-) Just thought I would pass this along in case others are dealing with similar challenges!