The other day a colleague of mine brought her kids to the office. When she asked her son to look up and say “hello” to me, she anticipated his age-appropriate immersion in his drawing and followed with, “Look her in the eyes and tell me what color her eyes are.” The lesson is, make them tell you what color the person’s eyes are to guarantee that they make eye contact. I thought this was really smart, because with kids and manners, it’s really a fake-it-til-you-make-it sort of thing.


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Comments (4)


  1. Posted by: Brandi

    Just remember when dealing with other peoples children that in some cultures it is RUDE for a child to look into the eyes of an adult. A child may also be uncomfortable meeting new people. I am happy with a nod, wave, thumbs up. A child might be shy and it would cause anxiety for them to have to look into a strangers eyes.

  2. Posted by: Angela

    I love your post Pilar, and couldn’t agree more.
    I always ask my kids ” and where do you look when you are speaking to someone?”
    It reminds them to look someone in the eye when speaking
    A necessary life skill, I believe.

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  4. Posted by: Suki

    This is an excellent piece of advice Pilar!

    It’s true, a child may be shy but, and I say this as an introverted adult, I would have greatly appreciated my mother accustoming me to looking people in the eyes.

    It’s also true that looking someone in the eye as a child is considered rude in some cultures, but the inability to do so as an adult is a detriment in most cultures.

    Better to ask for forgiveness when you are a child than to ask for permission when you are old.

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