Note: This article is meant to be read in conjunction with the article on eliminating distractions
Along with minimising distractions, position plays a large part in determining how successful you will be in ensuring what you are trying to communicate gets through to your child.
This applies to when you are asking you child to do something as well as when you are trying to play with your child. You could be doing the most interesting activity but if your child can’t see you, they will be less likely to engage with you in play.
So what is the perfect position? In most cases, you will have the most success if you are directly in front of your child and at eye level. This position makes it fairly easy for your child to look at you as their head does not need to move much to give you his/her attention.
A special note needs to be made on proximity; i.e. how close you are to your child. In order to get better eye contact, some parents will move uncomfortably close to their child which actually has the opposite effect. If your child starts leaning back or actively turns his/her head to avoid looking at you, it is usually a good sign that you may be a bit too close to them. Simply moving back a touch will help create a more comfortable space between you and your child.
Examples of good positions:
- At the table: Sitting opposite your child. Depending on how tall your child is, it may be optimal for you to sit on the floor at the table rather than on a chair while your child is seated.
- On the floor: Sitting opposite your child at about one and half arms length away with materials and toys in the middle.