The first and single most important thing you can do to cure your kid's insensitive attitude is to ask her, "How would you feel?" If you can help your child get inside someone else's shoes and feel things from the other person's perspective, it would be a huge step to boosting her sensitivity.The next time your child says or does anything insensitive, stop, get her attention, and ask her to play the Role Reversal Game. She must change chairs, switch shoes or hats, or whatever else is possible to become the person she is insensitive toward; then you ask her: "How do you feel that someone said that about you?" For example, with a younger child, ask her to pretend she's little Joey whom she's just called "Stupid."Ask an older child to assume the identity of someone about whom he's just sent out a nasty e-mail blast.Take the time to go over this with your kids so they can really feel deep in their hearts and souls what it's like to be on the receiving end of an insensitive attitude.
Beware: Insensitivity could be just the tip of the iceberg and may indicate other treacherous attitudes just below the surface, like cruelty, freshness, defiance, greed, and other elements of the Big Brat Factor. If this one doesn't have a quick meltdown, other bad attitudes can easily emerge.
Showing children how their insensitive attitude affects someone else is a significant and serious part of building character. All of our kids are born egocentric—after all, an infant's job is to get basic needs met. But our job as parents is to slowly wean them from the "me-me's" and teach them the value of feeling for others.The goal is do so without preaching, punishing, or bribing. One of the best ways is to be pre pared for the ideal moment—that perfect situation—when you can use something that is happening to jump in and bring home the message.
Our challenge as parents is how to use those unplanned moments when our kids' attitudes are unacceptable to help them become more responsive to the feelings of others.That kind of opportunity is always the best moment for attitude makeovers. As parents, we must help our kids discover for themselves why they should be more sensitive and realize that uncaring, cold-hearted actions cause great pain to others and ultimately to themselves. Replacing these attitudes with sensitivity, empathy, and tact is essential for long-term character building and ultimate happiness.
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