Although making eye contact when interacting with others comes naturally for most toddlers, some children need a bit more support in this area. Some children find eye contact uncomfortable, so it is important to work on this gradually and make doing so rewarding and fun. 2 tips to encourage eye contact include:
- Holding a preferred item of your child’s in front of your nose and giving it to them when they request it by meeting your gaze. Ensure that you lower yourself to your child’s eye level (so that it is easier for them to look at you).
- Regularly playing interactive social games like ‘Peekaboo’, which encourage close face-to-face interaction.
If you have tried these strategies and are still concerned about your child’s eye contact and social communication skills, please do not hesitate to seek professional support.
Olivia Smith is an endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist and is a strong believer in the importance of working collaboratively with families and other professionals to ensure a holistic approach to child wellbeing. She is passionate about advocating for and working with children presenting with anxiety and/or neurodiversity (e.g. ASD, ADHD and specific learning disorders) and their families. Olivia strives to make therapy sessions engaging, effective and applicable to everyday life, and views the relationship between child and therapist as key to success.
Have you seen our founder Amanda Abel’s new online school for parents? It’s called The Psychology Room and her first course has been lauched – The Good Night Toolbox – with tools for parents to help their child get to sleep at night. Check it out here!