It can be cute to see a child try and trick an adult by directing their face toward the other person’s face but have their eyes cranked to the side looking at something else. The child thinks they are fooling everyone, yet, everyone knows the child’s attention is wherever their eyes are pointing not where their face is directed.
I have heard some clever options for getting children to look at eyes. For example: saying “click”, or chasing their eyes down and getting in front of them, or just saying “look at my eyes”. All good options, but this past weekend I saw a mom get her very active son to look her in the eyes and it was beautiful.
What happened was, the mom wanted her son to put away his cup but he was eager to go play with company. The mom told him to put his cup in the sink, but it was obvious he didn’t really hear what she told him.
So, she called him over, he came. She started to talk again but he was looking into the next room where the company was. The mom then gently told the boy to put his hands on her face. Yes, he put one hand on each cheek and stared her in the eyes. She told him again to put his cup in the sink before playing and he heard her and obeyed.
I am pretty sure I put my hands on my children’s cheeks and tried to get them to look me in the eye, but they would still struggle to focus on me. This mom told me this still required reminding him to look in her eyes but the boy putting his hands on her cheeks worked the best of all she had tried at getting him to focus on her when she spoke.