PARENTING PRACTICE


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The Right Eye

Have you ever noticed how when some people look at you they make you feel sort of uneasy. Other people don't seem to look at you in the same way. Why is this so? One explanation may be what is known as the right eye look.

My dad used to give us kids the right eye look. All he had to do was look at us when we were misbehaving and we would all stop, and be good kids. My poor mom and my aunt, who lived with us, had such a difficult time trying to maintain discipline between the four of us kids, but not my dad. He very seldom needed to exercise any physical discipline because of the terrible look he would give us.

I suppose I was in my late thirties when I discovered what technique my father was using when he looked at us misbehaving kids. I was listening to a preacher who was explaining how to gain control over another person in a conversation. He said to simply look into the other person's right eye and don't glance away while you speak to them. Well, I tried it and it worked. I was able to have much more control over my children when they were about to misbehave. It was really a good thing for all of us because I am sure it reduced the amount of physical discipline that may have been necessary without it.

Everyone knows that it is good practice to always look the other person in the eye while you speak with them. It doesn't have to be a staring contest, and, it isn't necessary to transfix your stare upon the eyeball of the other person. It's just impolite to look at everything except that person's face. When I am speaking with someone I usually try to look at their face without actually concentrating on any one part of the face. Then, while we speak, I make sure to keep eye contact, off and on, by looking directly into their eyes occassionally.

I have found that looking into the eyes of another even works to train animals. I have developed a great relationship with my wife's dog, Sadie. Sadie will come up and lean on my knee while she looks longing into my eyes. I look straight back into hers and while doing so, visualize myself hugging and petting her. About then she will nudge me with her nose until I reach down and begin stroking her fur. Eye contact isn't magical but it's about as close as we can come.

If you are going to tell your youngster that you love him or her, be sure you are looking into their eyes while you speak the words. It will mean ten time more to them, and, they won't even know why.

If your child is misbehaving, here is what you do: Look into their right eye but focus on an imaginary spot about two inches beyond their eye (about two inches into the inside of their head). Speak the command that you wish them to obey while you look into their right eye. When you have finished speaking, continue looking into that eye for a second or two longer. Then, watch their reaction. You'll probably be surprised at the amount of cooperation you will receive from the child.

Be careful not to look into their right eye at most other times. You could wear out the effect. Look into their left eye most of the time and at other places on their faces like the bridge of their nose or a cheek bone.

Another way to avoid having to apply physical discipline is to choose your words carefully. For instance:
Billy, please clean up your room. ( Poor choice of words )

Billy, clean up your room, please. ( Good choice of words )
The difference between the above examples is the placement of the word, "please." That word is a magic word, as you know. It is good to use often. But, if you are trying to get a child to obey and avoid having to use any physical discipline, leave the word, "please," until the end of the command. Why? Because as the words enter a child's mind he puts ideas and pictures together as to their meaning. While the picture is forming in the first example he includes a softness generated by the word please. Then he combines that with whatever comes next. The command has lost its impact by the time the picture is built.

If we leave the word "please" until the end of the command, a completely different picture is formed. The words entering the child's mind are forming a picture of dominance on the part of mom or dad. He sees no way of escaping punishment for not obeying. Then, as the picture has been formed, the word "please" shows up. By now most of the picture is painted. The word "please" has little effect on what exists in the child's mind, yet, that word at the end removes any thought of ruthlessness on the parent's part and strengthens the feeling of family and teamwork. Try this technique. You'll see it works well for you.