Look "em" in the eyes | Teaching Self-Government

Look "em" in the eyes

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We close the end of each day with a prayer as a family.  This is a time of reverence and quiet.  Tonight my four year old son was a little bit hyper.  Normally as soon as prayer begins everyone is silent and part of the moment, so we began prayer.  During the prayer he started laughing and joking.  He thought that he was pretty funny.  This kind of behavior is considered disrespectful and is inappropriate for this time of day.

After the prayer I noticed that my son wasn't in any mood to be taught yet, so I told him to go sit on time out for a few minutes.

When he finished with time out I had already gone back to canning.  Lately, I have been canning just about non-stop to keep up with my garden and trees.  This is why I haven't had as many posts lately.  I love this time of year!  Instead of going to him, I told  him to come to me to talk about his prayer behavior while I canned.

When he came to me I was up to my elbows in peaches, and very pre-occupied.  I started a corrective teach while I worked, without even looking at him.  I didn't realize I wasn't looking at him, until I was into the interaction about half way.  At this point I realized I was not connecting with my son at all.  I was saying all the right words, but only thinking about getting the interaction over with so I could finish the project I was working on.

I knew that my son would not experience a change of heart unless he had a window to my heart.  The eyes are a window to the heart.  I needed to give him my soul through my eyes.

At this point I decided to just start the interaction over.  I stopped working and looked into my four year old's eyes.  I started over, focusing on feeling him and communicating love to him through the corrective teaching.  I felt his heart.  He looked at me so deeply.  It didn't take more than 30 seconds for him to have a complete change of heart.  He understood why the prayer behavior was important and really wanted to be respectful during prayer times.

Why do we teach our children?  To mold their hearts.

We should look at each mistake they make as an opportunity to look deeply into their hearts and for them to see into our hearts.  These moments can be some of the best moments in parenting, even though we are doing a correction for a negative behavior.

The first step to all the four basics is look at the person.  This is so important!!!  This skill not only builds confidence, but it opens the heart to change.

The first thing we should remember as parents correcting children is to look at them in the eyes.

Some children have a hard time making eye contact.  Keep practicing, but in the mean time, require a certain touch, such as hands touching, to help have a spiritual connection with your child during interactions until the eye contact works well.

 Happy Canning! ~Nicholeen

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