Infants and parents often gaze at one another. These are the some of the first social communicative attempts a child makes. We often take these moments for granted. However, it is important to understand that eye contact is a foundation for speech and language development.
Remember to provide your child with eye contact. When you are speaking with him or her, remember to take the time to get to his or level by kneeling and look at your child when you speak. Encourage eye contact back. If your child is not looking at you try saying, “Look at me…”. It is okay to instruct your child if he or she is not picking up the skill naturally.
Much of what is said is heard by the eyes! We often “speak” with body gestures. If there is a lack of eye contact so much of a message could be missed, such as facial expressions. Play games in which your child needs to guess what you are saying solely through your gestures and facial expressions. This will help develop eye contact as well.
Remember, looking and listening are essential to development!