child dreaming of walking on water

One of the biggest issues I find with kids is they do not know how to distinguish the difference between perception and reality. They think what they see and what they hear must be real and they often do not challenge it. For example, when a group of children are whispering they think it must be about them – especially if one or more of the children glance over to them whilst chatting. Alternatively, if someone treads on their toe or falls into them when playing a game, they think it was intentional. The children’s perception is that that child did it on purpose and therefore do not like them. We know as adults that this is not the case so it is important that we teach children the difference between perception and reality.

Questioning Children’s Perception

The easiest way to teach children the difference between perception and reality is to question your child about the situation.

  • What was going on beforehand – what did they see and what did they hear?
  • Is the person (or people) they mentioned friends of theirs?
  • Can they think of another reason why the situation occurred?
  • Was the perception real? What evidence do they have to say it was?

There are so many questions you could ask your child. The idea behind questioning them is to get them to think differently about the situation and to recognise that there could have been several reasons as to why something happened. You could also share a story of yours to help them see how you have viewed a situation and then found out you were completely wrong. Perhaps only share with them the perception (half the story) and get them to ask you questions to test the reality if they are a little older.

Try these tips and do let me know how you get on.

 If you would like to download some free parenting tips click here. They are simple and a great reminder of how to help our children.