Thursday, April 29, 2010

Giving "The Look"

Mamas know the look I'm talking about. The one that says, "I am really angry right now, and I'm going to let you know how angry I am by glaring at you and maintaining that glare until I can actually think of something to say." Yep, that's the one. I know it well. And I'll bet you do, too. Children are often paralyzed by the look; in fact, its effectiveness is comparable to that of a stun gun.

If you're a new Mama and haven't perfected giving the look, allow me to give a few pointers. (I think I actually perfected it before having children, because I taught high school for a couple of years.)
  • For maximum effectiveness, maintain your glare without blinking. Open your eyes as widely as possible, preferably revealing white all the way around the iris. The longer the look is held, the more seriously the child will take you. And fear what's coming.
  • Maintain eye contact with the child; if the child attempts to avert his/her eyes, continue with the look until eye contact is regained.
  • If the child is attempting to stifle a smile, simply raise both of your eyebrows. This will indicate that you mean business. If the child continues to fight the urge to smile, you must maintain your glare at all costs.
  • If you are the one attempting to stifle a smile, simply grit your teeth. Not only does this keep the smile at bay, it also accentuates your stern jawline, which indicates anger.
  • If you are positioned across the room from the child, and the child is uncertain whether or not you are actually giving the look, simply raise a single eyebrow. This lets your child know that you are aware of what is going on across the room and that you are not pleased. Either eyebrow may be used.
  • The potency of the look can be intensified by holding your head down at a 45 degree angle and allowing your look to fire over the top rim of your glasses. If you do not already own a pair of eyeglasses, you will want to purchase some, even if you only put them on to administer the look.
  • If your child is in serious trouble, combine the glasses, one-eyebrow raise, gritted teeth, and no blinking methods. Hold this look for two to five minutes, depending on the offense. Or how long it takes you to think of something to say. 
Question for you: Have you found the look to be effective with your child? What tips can you offer in administering the look?


Kevin said...

i'm pretty sure you perfected this while we were still dating.

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

This is true.

laurie said...

Hilarious. And I'm pretty sure you perfected that look long before children and teaching high school because you're a BEVELL. I've been told about the potency of how I give that look as early as elementary school. It was/is extremely useful in warding off predatory boys. :)

laurie said...

Whoa. Just read Kevin's comment AFTER having posted mine. That's weird but quite a confirmation of my point. Not that you were necessarily a "predatory boy" Kevin, but... :)