You know how annoying it is when your kids won’t listen to you? Or when they don’t understand how things work in the real world? Well, you’re not alone. As a parent, it’s important to remember that children are not adults. They may be smarter than some adults, but they have less life experience and so their point of view is often different from yours. If you want to relate better with your kids (and teach them empathy), then stop seeing things from your perspective and start seeing things from theirs. Here are the ways of how to see things from your kids point of view.
Let them show you their world
The first step to understanding your child is to realize that you have a lot of misconceptions. The second step is to allow your children to show you the world in a way they know it.
Letting your child show you the situation from their perspective doesn’t mean assuming they’re capable of doing everything on their own—it means letting them live in their world, and not yours. It means asking questions rather than making assumptions or demands, and listening instead of trying to fix any problem or issue that arises along the way.
See things from their perspective
When you ask your kid to tell you about their day, they may be more willing to share details if you share with them first. For example, if your daughter came home from school upset because she got in trouble for talking during class, try saying something along the lines of: “I’m sorry that happened. I know it was frustrating when Ms. Smith made you sit out during recess because she told me what happened earlier! Can we talk about how that made you feel?” This can also work when asking other questions as well, such as “Tell me more about what happened at school today” or “What were some of the situations that were fun/hard today?”
Ask for their input about the situations that affect them
- Ask your child what they think about a situation.
- Ask them what they want to do.
- Ask them what they think of a decision you are making.
- Ask them what they think of a plan you have in mind.
- Ask them what they think of something you are doing, like an outfit or activity for the day, for example.
Try to see their needs as more important than your convenience
When you’re trying to see things from your child’s point of view, it can be helpful to reframe your own needs and desires in a way that emphasizes their needs. Instead of thinking about how you feel when they don’t do what they’re supposed to, try thinking about how they must feel when their parents don’t respond with respect and enthusiasm for the things they want to do.
This is one way in which we can show our children that we care about them. It tells them that we want them to be happy, not just content or resigned—that we recognize their feelings as valid and important rather than being inconveniences or nuisances.
Children need this kind of feedback from us because no matter how old they get, they still depend on us for validation and encouragement as humans who are worthy of love. This is particularly true during adolescence when everything feels so uncertain; children may start feeling like there’s something wrong with them if even one person in their life ignores their preferences or opinions because it makes their life easier instead of more interesting (or vice versa).
If your child’s behavior is awkward for someone specifically. analyze the reason before insisting that they change their ways.
It’s easy to get frustrated when a child acts in a way that seems unpleasant or inappropriate. However, there are many reasons why children behave the way they do, and it’s important to consider those before insisting that they change their ways.
For example, if your child is being awkward in front of someone else, ask yourself whether that person is being rude or critical of them. If so, your child may be responding to the negative attention by acting out in order to get more positive attention—and you might want to think about how you can help them stop doing this. However, if the other person isn’t being rude or critical, then it’s more likely that your child simply doesn’t understand how his behavior is coming across and needs some guidance from you on how to act appropriately in social situations.
In either case, before insisting that your child change his behavior, try asking him what he thinks about it first (this will allow him space for self-reflection) and then work together on finding a solution together.
Fostering empathy in yourself and in your kids creates healthy relationships.
There is a lot of research that shows the importance of empathy in healthy relationships. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s essential for healthy relationships, because it helps us feel compassionate toward one another and encourages us to act morally.
Empathy can be developed by paying attention to your own feelings and recognizing them in others, but it can also be learned through practice and observation. By observing your child’s behavior (and his or her interactions with others), you can begin to understand what they might be feeling at any given moment—then try to replicate that emotion yourself so that you can empathize with him or her better than ever before!
The way you see things is shaped by your experiences, so it’s important to try and see things from other people’s perspectives. When we learn to do this with others, we get a better sense of how they may be feeling or thinking about something and can respond accordingly. This will also help us be more empathetic parents who are able to understand what our kids need as they grow up.