Have you ever perceived something or someone differently than your children? Been fascinated by how many varying shapes and animals they see when you’re looking at clouds? That is because their brains work in another way than ours – and it’s the same with feelings.
It’s important that parents enter children’s state of mind, but also teach them to step into other people’s emotions and perceptions. Kids are taught empathy through the understanding of both parents and other’s behaviors and reactions. That is why this week’s “1 minute Peppy Parenting” is about entering another person’s point of view.
Exercise; Read the story of the Wolf and Little Red Riding and emphasize the following passage that describes the story from the wolf’s point of view:
“When the girl came I invited her into the room. The girl entered and the first thing she did was to say something mean about my ears. Since I am used to people teasing me I tried to make the best of the situation by saying that my ears looked the way they do in order for me to better hear what se said. But she continued to tease me: This time for my big, big eyes. Once again I tried to ignore her being mean and answered nicely that my eyes were big so that I could see her better. When she despite of this insulted me again, this time for my big ugly mouth, I lost control: I know that I should have tried to deal with it in a better way but I was so angry that I jumped up and yelled: ‘it is like that so that I can eat you better’.”
Ask; What do you think is the difference between the two stories?
- Who do you like the best, Little Red Riding or the Wolf?
- Did you feel the same about the wolf in both stories? About the Little Red Riding Hood?
- In which story can you easiest understand the Wolf/Little Red Riding Hood?
- When is it easy to understand someone else? When is it difficult?
- What can you do to understand someone?
Purpose; To pay attention to the fact that a situation can be perceived differently by different persons. As such, children are developing empathy.
Want to experience more? There are plenty of other stories, fairy-tales or books about conflicts that are told from one person’s point of view. A good starting point for discussion can be found in all of Peppy Pals books that are based on story-telling scenarios that can be related to every-day situations.