Look At My Nose! – Parenting 101

Parenting 101 is a series of posts that I have written to help out new parents by teaching them little tricks and tips to make this whole journey a bit easier.  They are not Earth shattering revelations, and they do not follow any certain parenting philosophy.  They are simply tips to make life with children a bit easier for everyone.

One of our most difficult endeavors as parents has been to get the kids to turn their heads the appropriate direction for things like face washing, shampoo rinsing or hair brushing.

“Look in front of you!”

“Let me see your face!”

“Let me wash your face, please.”

We’ve said all of these useless lines, along with several others, trying to get our children to cooperate with whatever operation we were doing – until we finally figured out a more empowering way to get our kids’ attention.

Children do not have the experience yet to understand what these things mean.  They learn through doing what it is that we want them to do.  Telling a child to look in front of them is completely arbitrary to them.  Wherever they look IS in front of them, so they must be complying!  If we want a child to do what we are asking, we need to give them clear directives that allow them to comply.

Look At My Nose!  Our Mindful Life

Look at my nose!

Telling a child what they should be looking at to face the direction you need is much more clear for them, than an arbitrary “let me see your face.”  Look at my nose is a great tool for getting a child to look up into your face so that you can see his face clearly.  Other clear directives are:

Look at the ceiling!

Look at that picture!

Look at the window!

Look at the door!

For my older children, knowing where to look is enough.  I usually have to remind them at least once – and sometimes several times – but they are able to maintain focus for several minutes at a time.  When they are younger, I tell them where to look and then lead them to keep their attention there by asking several questions.

What is the picture of?

What color is the door?

Can you see any cars out the window?

Look at my nose! Where is my nose?  Oh! Where are my eyebrows?

Keeping things light and upbeat while giving clear directives helps us to do those mundane daily tasks without fighting with our kids.


2 thoughts on “Look At My Nose! – Parenting 101

  1. Great advice! I sometimes think that you have a tape recorder in our house, and you choose your blog topics based on the mistakes I am making. This post had to be inspired by the conversation I had with Josephine today, while I was trying to brush her hair. 🙂


  2. That is so funny, Stephanie! I’ve just been doing this for a while now with lots of children. I think we all make the same “mistakes” and get through them the best we can.


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