Parenting Connection: How to teach young children the skill of perspective taking

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to teach young kids the skill of perspective taking.
That’s the ability to look beyond your own point of view to understand how someone else may think or feel about something.

Child experts say it’s tough for a young mind to grasp this concept at first because most kids are naturally egocentric and perspective taking involves the understanding of thoughts, intentions, and feelings from other people.
Kendra Moyses, a child development expert at Michigan State University says, perspective taking is a skill we have to encourage our kids to practice, and if successful, will drastically improve all personal connections your kids will have in the future that includes friends, co-workers, and romantic relationships.

“This is the first step to being able to take that broader perspective of how do other people see the world how do other people experience the world. Being able to take yourself and your personal feelings out of that and being objective and saying, ‘ok, I’m putting myself in their spot, what does this look like or how does this feel?”

Here are a few tips from the Michigan State University Extension on how to help your kids learn and practice perspective taking:
*Talk about feelings. This includes them understanding things like anger, sadness, and loneliness.
*Acknowledge feelings. Experts say, children will better understand others as they grow up, if you understood and respected their feelings.
*Show them the other side. Try to help them build connections between people’s actions and its effect.
*Train a little detective. Show your kids how to search for clues when people are showing negative emotions or vibes.
*Encourage working with others. It forces them to see other points of view.

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