Perspective-taking is the ability to view situations from alternate perspectives, and it is a skill that develops over time. Being exposed to all kinds of people from all over the world can teach perspective-taking, but there are also steps you can take as a parent to help them understand it better from an earlier age. Here are some easy ways to teach your children perspective-taking.
Read Some Books
Many different books tackle the idea of perspective-taking in kid-friendly ways. A great example is the kid’s book Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Sornson. It highlights that not everyone is starting a race at the same line, and that many people have had to go through different things to get there. To expand on the lesson, you can have your children try to create stories about different people’s lives. You could also find day-in-the-life videos on the internet to show them how other people live.
Donate To Other Students
One of the best ways to help your child see other perspectives is to interact directly with those less fortunate in similar positions. For example, whatever age your child may be, there are other students in their classrooms or schools whose families cannot afford school supplies. By participating in school supply drives or donating supplies directly, your child can see the impact of their action in how it affects others in the same position as them.
Ask Your Child Questions
A great way to have your children think more critically about others around them is to play video games and watch movies and TV. If they participate in these media with no critical thinking, they may not learn as much. However, you can easily turn these role-playing media into learning activities that teach perspective.
For example, ask them why a character from a movie is acting the way they are? How are they different from your child? What might they do differently if they were in this situation? If they are playing a video game, why is their character making these choices, and if someone else were playing it, would they make different choices?
These were easy ways to teach your children perspective-taking, and as they get older, you can introduce them to more complex and challenging perspectives. Documentaries and museums are great, but most importantly, you also need to be aware of your child’s perspective and not push them too far out of their comfort zone.