Seems like an obvious one, right? Something that comes naturally and not something that we really need to ‘teach’ our children.
Sadly, that isn’t the case. Eye contact is no longer considered a ‘normal’ form of communication. In fact, eye contact has deteriorated so much that we almost don’t even expect it any more.
Consider your daily life and the things you engage with whether it be the checkout person at the supermarket, the person at the drive-through window or the petrol station. How many of those people do you talk too or engage in a meaningful way? An interesting self-test to take is to try and remember what the person at the checkout looked like. What their voice sounded like? Did they have long hair, short hair or hair at all? Interestingly for most of us, we can’t recall any of these details. Why? Because we aren’t making eye contact, most of us were probably so buried in our phones that facial recognition didn’t even come into play.
When you think about it, it’s kind of scary, isn’t it? I think about that TV police shows where people have to pull suspects out of a lineup. I guess technology is so far along that CCTV cameras are what’s relied upon now. I think that’s a good thing because counting on us would mean a significant amount of confusion if we were the only reliable sources.
So why is it important to teach our children about eye contact? Well, if it’s true that the eyes are the windows to the soul, then I think it imperative that they have their eyes ‘on’. And, if all the research and reporting about screen addiction and the potential damage that is being caused by living in and through a world of tech in your hand is accurate. Parents, there is work, to be done.
No matter how far technology takes us, nothing can replace eye contact and the level of engagement and communication that does and can happen through a simple look, glance or a deep level of eye contact. Our eyes tell stories and take us on journeys. We need to lift them up and above screens so that we are able to engage in the world around us, whether that be with people or as simple as nature.
5 Areas of impact on good eye contact:
- Memory boosting
- Decision making
I love talking about eye contact and I’m reminded of my dear parents, especially my father who would remind my siblings and I how important it was to look a person in the eye. I wonder if he knew how important that teaching would be and that we’d be writing about it in 2018? I realise now that since it was such an important teaching that my parents shared with me, I find myself looking for it from others.
Eye contact is something we must teach our children. My father knew it 60 years ago and I know it today. I wonder who will be speaking about it in years to come? Our eyes are, indeed, the windows to our souls and our eyes remind us that beauty is all around us.