Parents and teachers say it to kids all the time, especially if it's an important conversation. If a child looks away when you're talking, you might think they're being rude, or simply not paying attention. But according to researchers at Stirling University in Scotland, kids turn away because it helps them think. And they probably learned it from you.
Still skeptical? Next time you ask an adult a tough question, watch them closely. They'll probably unfocus their eyes and look off into space while they figure out the answer. It's a way of blocking out visual distractions, so they can concentrate on the thought process. But kids find it harder to block visual things out, so they tend to turn their head away instead of just their eyes.
Ask an 8-year-old a question and they're likely to turn away, especially if the question is difficult to answer, or embarrassing. Staring into someone's eyes can be intimidating, especially when they're waiting for an answer. You're in the spotlight, it's time to perform, and the clock is ticking. And with someone staring at you, it's impossible to think.
As a matter of fact, when a child is a witness in a courtroom, they're often encouraged to close their eyes during testimony. It allows them to describe what they saw, without being distracted by a scary courtroom full of adults waiting for answers.
So, next time your kid looks away when you ask them a serious question, you'll know they're not being rude. They're actually thinking long and hard about it.
Some of Life’s Greatest Treats Bring Big Health Benefits Would you believe that some of life’s greatest treats bring big health benefits – and he… College Advice From Long-Time Professors Here’s some quick-hit college advice from people who should know: Long-time professors. This c… Turn Back the Clock by Getting Rid of Unhealthy Behaviors That Age You. Cosmetic surgery isn’t the only way to get a younger, healthier look. You can turn back the cl… Do you want to be a more persuasive and assertive speaker? You can, just be doing some mental exercises. Here are some scientifically proven workouts to help b… Taking a Vacation Is Good for Your Family, Career, and Well-Being If you’re thinking of skipping your vacation, you’re not alone. More than 51 million Ame… What Gives People a Sense of Wellbeing? If you want to be happier, listen up! Here’s the lowdown on what gives people a “sense o… Natural Remedies Work Just as Well as Medicine You don’t always need to pop a pill to cure what ails you. There are plenty of natural remedie… Okay, time for a little game called "which is worse"--play along and see how your answers match up. These are from Glamour Magaz First up, which is worse: being fit but a bit heavy or being a skinny couch potato? The answer: it's… What's the Latest Lifestyle Trend? To Simplify Everything. You know the drill: downsize, get rid of stuff, and live a cleaner, simpler life. But guess what … Common Brain Blips And How to Avoid Them Everybody has memory lapses, whether you call them “senior moments,” or “brain bli… Lessons in Social Etiquette I’ve got a lesson in social etiquette for you. What to do if: a salesperson is snotty with you… Gestures and What They Mean It’s time for some more news from the body language front. Here are a few common gestures and … Your Clutter Could Be Holding You Back A lot of times, we’re reluctant to let go of things, people and activities because we think th… Boredom Inspires Creativity Are you bored out of your mind? That may be a good thing. University of Calgary professor Dr. Peter … Do You Stress Out Before a Big Work Presentation? In other words, you memorize your speech, but on the big day, you’re so nervous you can’…
Your Pet Can Save Your Life Pets not only provide companionship, but can also help save your life. Pets can protect against hear… Avoid Tattoos & Body Piercings BASIC.Communion Clip 03 with Francis Chan What’s Love Got To Do With It? Do you know what it takes to keep a couple together?… Easy Way To Cut Calories in Restaurants Starbucks and Subway are both delicious, but… The Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea Green tea contains powerful antioxidants and is good for your heart.… Do You Have A Pushy Boss? Exclusive! Dr. Oz Belly Fat Interview Does Parental Favoritism Exist? Most parents try to hide their preference, but how do kids feel about parental favoritism?… How The Weather Can Affect You Did you know that the wind can actually… How Well Do You Click With Other People? Life Changing Questions from Dr. Loneliness Is Bad For Your Health One reason is because many Americans are unmarried and live alone.… The Science of Shopping Preparing For Flu Season Here is what you need to know to combat the flu.…