Evelyn Mendal, LMHC
Do You See What I See?
Have you ever taken a moment to think about how different the worldview must be between from where we stand and from where our child stands?
I once saw a video of an experiment where researchers placed a Go-Pro helmet on a 1st grader and sent him to school for a normal school day. The video footage was so shocking to watch! Everyone seemed gigantic and overwhelming. Noises seemed extra loud. Lights seemed extra bright. Distances seemed extra-long to walk through. I always tried to keep in mind that children experience the world differently from adults, but this was a true “AHA” moment for me.
As adults speaking to little children, we often tend to forget about this discrepancy. We forget that we tower over them. We forget that our voices project loudly and we speak too fast. We forget that their little bodies can’t always keep up with our pace. It is for these reasons that when I think about connecting with children, I think about what “getting on their level” really means. It means actually lowering ourselves to their eye-level. It means slowing down our words, significantly. It means slowing down our body language, by a lot. It means connecting with them through their native languages - play, touch, love, and warmth. Getting on your child’s “level” means learning to see the world through their eyes and their mind. It means learning to see their emotions. It means learning to see their strengths and weaknesses. Think about how much can shift in the way you want to interact with your child after sitting with these reflections. It is not very surprising, then, that getting into the habit of exploring your child’s worldview once in a while can completely change the nature of your parent-child relationship…for the better!