RULE OF PARENTING #6: Thinking Like a Child: 5 Steps To Understand Your Child’s Perspective

Thinking Like A Child: 5 Steps

Rules Of Parenting - TeenagersChildren perceive the world quite differently, from how parents do. To really cater to the needs of your child and to get along well, a parent needs to take into consideration his child’s perceptive.

Here are 5 steps you can take to see the world from your child’s point of view:

1. See The World Through Their Eyes and Mind

Children see things as large and alive, crying means attention, and they believe in magic. Growing up life is about being cool, having the best toys or wanting to stay up late irrespective of the consequences. Within each age set, children think very differently, something that might seem irrational to you. Instead of getting impatient or annoyed with your child, take the time to understand that his age and developmental phase is what’s causing him to think or act the way he is. He is just being a child. If need be, correct his thinking and show him a better way.

2. Make Decisions Collaboratively

One way to understand your child’s perspective is to consult with her about things that matter to her. According to a recent survey by the Family Room, a branding company based in Connecticut, up to 64% of those surveyed said that they consult their children about decisions such as purchases. Most parents said the collaborative approach is meant to show their children that their opinion is valued. So, even though you are the final decision maker, it is important that your child’s voice is heard.

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3. Respect Your Children

When you respect your child, not only does she feel good about herself, she also feels that you understand her point of view. Start by listening to her opinions and instead of discounting them, acknowledge that these opinions are valid. Respect how she feels about certain things; when she needs privacy and space, respect this instead of nagging her.

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4. Empathize With Their Situations

Infants get bored easily, toddlers can be feel bad when their friends have a different better-looking haircut, school-going children can feel horrible about a match they lost to the other team, and teenagers can be plagued with negative feelings about life. What do you do as a parent? You certainly do not mock your child and discount their feelings or behaviours as irrational or silly. Instead, you can listen to them and perhaps show them a better perspective. Using words such as “I understand,” “I see where you are coming from” “I know how you feel” will reassure your child that you do get them.

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5. Understand His Temperament

It is not always easy to understand a child’s behaviour. The key to understanding your child’s behaviour and worldview is finding out about his temperament. Temperament is those traits a child is born with that help him to make sense of the world and to react to his environment. As a parent, without an understanding of temperament it is very easy to act out or to label your child, as “troublesome” “hyperactive” “moody” and not take any steps to really understand him.

According Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess leading researchers, there 9 temperament traits:

  1. Activity Level: Is the child active or inactive;
  2. Adaptability: Ability to adapt to change;
  3. Approach: Withdrawal- Reaction to new situations;
  4. Distractibility: Is he easily distracted;
  5. Intensity: How intensely he reacts to situations;
  6. Mood: Is he happy or unhappy;
  7. Persistence: Does he persist with activities even when faced with interruptions and challenges;
  8. Regularity: Is his behaviour predictable;
  9. Responsiveness: The amount of stimulation needed to trigger a response.

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