Teach Your Child Perspective Taking and Social Skills in 5 Simple Ways

Perspective taking is one of the essential skills a child will need to develop. To put it simply, a child with good perspective taking skills will have high empathy. But it’s actually more than that. Being able to figure out what other people think and feel will help the children to understand the intentions of people around them (peers, parents, teachers, etc). The result of this heightened sense of awareness of how other people think is a lower incidence of conflict, fights and temper flare-ups.Here are 5 simple things you can do to promote Perspective Taking:

  1. Help your baby/toddler tag emotions to words – verbalise their emotions (eg. happy, sad, frustrated, angry) for them. Do this often enough and soon they will be able to express their emotions as words rather than non-specific temper tantrums.
  2. Use everyday moments to your advantage – whenever a chance arises, use it immediately to talk about your feelings or your child’s feelings. Also, talk about other people’s perspective and feelings whenever you can.
  3. Use your reading sessions to talk about emotions too! Discuss what the book characters feel and why they feel that way.
  4. Help and teach your child to make friends. Talking to strangers doesn’t naturally to most adults, so why should children have it any better? Give you child some tips and encouragement to make the first step!
  5. Last but not least, children learn by emulating their parents and the adults around them. Remember to set a good example and take the perspective of your child as well!
Perspective taking is one of the 7 essential skills that Ellen Galinsky believes every child should have. For more information, check out her book ‘Mind in the Making‘.

mind in the making

Jill Kuzma, a Speech-Language Pathologist also has a fantastic webpage with lots of teaching ideas for not only Perspective Taking, but also Conversation skills and Emotional awareness.

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