Learning Perspectives

About This Module

Do you find your child struggles to see other people’s point of view?

You may notice this causes arguments with siblings and other children. Or you may find it frustrating that your child simply doesn’t seem to understand what people are saying is important.

Well you are certainly not alone. In fact, seeing things from other peoples’ point of view is a learned skill, and it’s possible your child simply hasn’t learned how.

The first step your child needs to take in developing vital interpersonal skills, such as consideration and empathy, is to be able to see another person’s perspective. Without these skills children will struggle to make friends and may argue constantly with siblings and parents. This is important building block that we help our children to master at this young age.

What You'll Learn

  • To help your child understand that people have different perspectives to their own.

  • To help your child to build positive, lasting friendships.

  • Teach your child to predict their friends and family’s point of view, a vital friendship skill.

  • Be able to see someone else’s point of view and learn to respect them instead of trying to get everyone doing things their way.

  • Start learning strong interpersonal skills now, that your child can take forwards into adulthood.

Psychology Fun Facts

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  • Whose perspective is it?

    Young children are yet to establish that other people have differing points of view. Until they learn about others point of view is, they may either say they don’t know, or just give their own point of view assuming everyone thinks the same.

    For example, what do you think dad would like for lunch? Chocolate ice cream!! This may very likely be your child’s own point of view, not their dad’s.

  • At the age of 2, your child is only focussed on themselves. They have little or no ability to recognise other people’s point of view. This means simple disagreements are often taken as criticism and cause children to become upset.

    Imagine a pair of 2 year olds fighting over a toy, neither yet have formed the perspective to be able to take turns. They simply see the world from their own point of view that they want to play with that toy. Therefore, they don’t understand when an adult intervenes and so they become upset.

  • By the age of 3, children can start to predict other people’s perspectives and start to connect them with situations. They now understand that if they simply snatch their friends toy, this will upset them. This is the very start of knowing what makes someone happy, sad, angry or upset.

  • By around the age of 4 children first realise that other people have different points of view to them. They are starting to develop a sense of perspective. Before this age, they have either assumed everyone thinks the same as them, or they have never given it a moments thought.

  • Perspective taking is a vital social skill. Inability to see another child’s perspective means children cannot adapt their play to fit in with friends. This may result in them struggling to form and maintain friendships.

  • Once children have discovered that other people have a different point of view to theirs, they can quickly learn to predict how others will react in simple situations. For example, predicting accurately that mum and grandma will react differently to seeing a spider.

    In fact, they often find it really enjoyable and empowering to predict how people will react.

  • By the age of 7 or 8 children are starting to learn that peoples’ point of views can be altered or manipulated. Children are learning their good behaviour can influence other people positively. Sharing toys when friends visit means friends have a good time and want to visit again. Being selfish with toys means friends may not want to visit again. Often being selfish is not intentional misbehaviour but simply a lack of understanding of others perspective.

  • All parents tend to put the needs of their child first most of the time. However, putting your child first all of the time is known as self-sacrificing parenting. Self-sacrificing means your child doesn’t get to see your point of view which can slow their development of perspectives.

    For example, parents who never takes her turn in choosing the family’s leisure activity can be sending a message to their child that they always get to do what they want to do. This makes sharing and taking turns quite difficult for the child when they are trying to make and keep friendships.

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