Children are naturally self-centered. It’s as if mirrors surround them. They can only see and think of themselves.
To become caring, sensitive people, they must learn to see and think of others’ feelings and needs.
To help your child become more aware of things outside himself:
- Play “The Noticing Game.” Do this when you’re traveling or at an unfamiliar place. Without a warning, ask your child to close and cover his eyes. See how well he can describe the room or scene. Let him initiate the game with you another time.
- Put yourselves in pictures. Find pictures in magazines of diverse situations. Take turns looking at a picture and describing how that person might feel. Start at the physical level. Imagine what people in the picture see and hear. Are they cold or warm? Then imagine how they feel emotionally.
- Look and listen for needs. Have family members notice the people in need they see throughout the day. Talk about how each of you can help.
- If your child sees a friend who is discouraged, he could offer support. If he has a classmate who is insecure, he could give a compliment. If he sees a child at school who seems lonely, he could take time to talk. He could include that child in activities.
- Praise your child for making an effort to help those in need.
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