In this series I have re-introduced an important theme: your child's perspective. Understanding your child's perspective is the first step toward respecting your child as the unique person that he is.
Parents often delight in trying to understand their newborn's needs. It can be exciting to get to know the newest member of the family. Yet, when it comes to older kids, many parents have a different approach. They try to control instead of observe.
It's no wonder. Who wants to crawl inside the mind of a child who is screaming or yelling? Yet this is when trying on another person's perspective is critical.
Admittedly, this is no easy feat. But its rewards are immeasurable. Here's a short list:
- Parents really understand what is going on.
- Therefore, children feel understood and respected.
- Parents are more patient with their children.
- Therefore, children feel better about themselves and more connected with parents.
- Parents set a positive example for moral development.
- Therefore, children learn from example how to be less self-centered and more concerned with others' feelings.
The previous post discussed understanding your child's perspective visually. This post will address the intellectual aspect. There are many ways to go about answering the question, “What is my child thinking?" First, and most important, put your own idea or fantasy aside of who you want your child to be and be open to who your child is.
Many parents have preconceived ideas about how they want their kid to develop. When things turn out differently, parents mourn the loss of their "dream" child. Sometimes this mourning gets in the way of the parent seeing the child for who he really is.
I will provide tools in future posts for better understanding your child's individual temperament and behavior preferences.