When Danae was born, I was mesmerized. I could not take my eyes off her and she loved looking into my eyes as well. We would hold our gaze for minutes at a time, especially while she was breastfeeding. It was like communicating to each other how deeply we loved each other, silently. No words could fully express how we both felt anyway.
Ever since, maybe also because of the mommy books I read then, I felt it important to have eye contact with my child, most especially when we would speak to her. It is more sincere and it makes more impact when we tell her that we love her, that we’re proud of her, or when we give her instructions that she needs to obey.
We taught our kids early, and are continuing to teach them especially because Noelle refused in the beginning, to look into a person’s eyes when they apologize. A blurted out apology is unacceptable because it does not hold true. A proper apology teaches them to take responsibility for their actions. You hurt or disrespect someone, you look into their eyes to let them know how truly sorry you are. It’s hard but it’ll teach them to think twice before doing or saying something hurtful, and to teach them to humble themselves — something that is still difficult for me to this day. It’s another story though if the other person doesn’t want to look at them when they’re trying to say sorry. We just make sure that our girls do their part. They are being trained for something they will need to do, hopefully not often, when they’re grown up.
Eye contact shows my children that I am serious about something I’m trying to teach them, and it teaches them to pay attention. It shows them that I am listening to them and am interested when they’re communicating with me. It shows them also how sincere we are when we’re the ones apologizing to them. It fosters our deep connection with them when we express our love, joy, and gratefulness.
I’ve always disliked it when people do not make eye contact when spoken to. It feels like either they’re hiding something, or they’re lying, or they’re not listening, or they don’t care, or they’re prideful, or they’re insecure. I want my children to be sincere, trust worthy, humble, secure, and respectable human beings. I know teaching them eye contact will help.
The other day, Danae told me that her classmate kissed her on the lips. Appalled, I asked her why she let him. She explained to me that it wasn’t her who kissed him, but he who kissed her.
Teaching opportunity once again! I told Danae that when her classmate/s kiss her, they are not respecting her. When they try it again, she should stop them. It will teach them to respect her, and they will eventually understand that they must not treat her that way. Overreacting, am I? I don’t think so. I say train them early so it won’t be so difficult for us parents and for our kids when they’re faced with such challenges during adolescence and adulthood.
This actually applies to all ladies. We have the power to say NO! If you want to be respected, set the boundaries. The men will take their cue from us. If we tolerate it, then they’re going to keep doing it. If we don’t, they will stop. This way, you weed out the boys from the men. This way, we know who earns our respect as well.