Q: How can I help my toddler to look people in the eye when speaking to them?
A: Many young children have a difficult time making eye contact, especially with strangers. Direct eye contact often develops closer to age 3 but you can help to cultivate this skill with practice and imitation.  When you speak to your child, get on his or her level.  Kneel down and make eye contact, even for short periods, during your conversation.  Model positive communication with others in front of your children as well and they will start to copy your behavior. Although lack of eye contact may be an indicator of other issues, such as autism, this alone is not a red flag.  Children with special needs will exhibit a variety of behaviors that may demonstrate problems with social interaction but lack of eye contact, by itself, is not likely a sign of a serious problem.

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Nancy Massotto is the Founder and Director of the Holistic Moms Network, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Nancy has a passion for living holistic and works to help parents connect, learn and support one another on their journeys through parenting and holistic living. Find more information about Nancy on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.