Walk In Their Shoes: Understanding Your Child’s Point Of View

 Please join us in welcoming Amy Williams to the blog again this week. She has written this important article about how to better understand our children. Truly seeking to understand our children is so important for them and ourselves. It shows that we respect our children. As Dr. Maria Montessori said: “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their “innocence” and of the greater possibilities of their future.” (Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook, p. 133).

Understanding Your Child

How well do you understand your child? Can you see their point of view, even when you may disagree? What’s important to them, and what parenting approaches work best with their temperament?
Considering the answers to these questions can help you with a key to effective parenting: seeking to understand your child. Each child is a unique human being with their own personal views of the world. Parents can listen to and observe their children to understand their experiences, thoughts, and behaviors. Such knowledge will not only help you support them throughout childhood, but it will also help you guide them toward maturity. In this article, we’ll discuss how understanding your child and connecting with them can help you walk in their shoes to see things as they do.
 understand your child

Understanding Your Child’s Personality

When it comes to understanding your child, one of the first places to start is by understanding their personality. While a child’s likes and dislikes may change over time, their personalities will not. For instance, be mindful of their individual traits and characteristics. Are they introverted or are they extroverted? Do they adapt easily to change or do they need time to adjust to new settings? How do they deal with stressful situations? Do they handle stress with ease or do they respond with emotional outbursts? These are all important considerations to keep in mind that will help you understand where your child is coming from when they say or do certain things.

Once you know their personality, you can consider the best way to discipline your child given their personality traits. Your child’s innate personality is very complex. In your interactions with your child, keep their personality at the forefront of your mind. Nurture your child’s well-being by being showing support, appreciation, and understanding of their unique traits and characteristics and then relate with them accordingly.

Understanding Your Child’s Underlying Needs

Keep in mind that a child’s temperament can be directly impacted by their surroundings. Family dynamics, relationships, and even environment can all influence a child’s personality — which is why a happy, healthy, and loving home environment is a top priority. It is important that parents are aware of such factors because a child’s experiences are typically a driving force behind their actions.

Parents can successfully see the world through their child’s eyes by not only taking the child’s immediate responses into account but also by also putting their child’s experiences into context. It’s easy to see a child’s misbehavior and focus on stopping it. But more effective than focusing on the behavior itself is focusing on the underlying needs behind the behavior. For example, take a toddler who is aggressive with a new sibling. It’s easy to see only the behavior and lecture or punish the child accordingly. However, thoughtful parents may ask themselves, “What is my child communicating with this behavior? Does my child need more one-on-one time with me? Do I need to offer more frequent snacks or an earlier bedtime?”

understand your child


Connecting with Your Child

Another great way to get to know your child is by connecting with them on a one-on-one basis. Parents can do this by having meaningful conversations with their children. When talking with your child, show interest and curiosity about what they have to say. Actively encourage them to communicate and express their points of view. Engage with your child and make a conscientious effort to understand their thoughts and feelings. Avoid dismissing your child’s feelings or judging their experiences. This will help you understand your child’s experience and connect with them on a deeper, emotional level.

The Power of Play

For younger children, the best window into their inner life is through observing their play. Children communicate through play. They may not be ready to have a deep conversation about their emotions, but they process their experiences and feelings through play. Observing the themes they act out in pretend play or the types of toys they’re drawn to can help you better understand their feelings and needs.

Taking time daily to be completely present as you play with your children can also help you connect and bond. Even just 10 minutes a day of uninterrupted, child-led playtime can make a world of difference in the parent-child connection and help you better understand your child.

Seeing the World Through Their Eyes

All in all, you can understand your child by putting yourself in their shoes. Some of the fundamental building blocks behind raising a child come from understanding how they think and feel and knowing who they are as a person. Empowered parents recognize just how special their children are and they take the time to see the world through their eyes. Provide your child with a lifetime of support and protect their well-being by taking the initiative to get to know them better as individuals.

Amy Williams is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety. Follow her on twitter: @AmyKWilliams1


Helping Hands is the perfect way to help your preschooler learn more about helping around the house while developing their fine motor skills. There are inviting tiny clothespins, beautiful child-sized materials, and real tools for your child to feel like they can contribute to the family!

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