Get In Touch With Your Kids’ Perspective

March 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Communication, Education, Family, Parenting

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Once upon a time in India, six blind men came across an elephant. Each of the six examined a different part to determine what an elephant was like.

The first man examined an ear and thought an elephant was like a fan.

The second man examined the side of the elephant and thought an elephant was like a wall.

The third man examined elephant’s tail and thought an elephant was like a rope.

The fourth man examined the elephant’s trunk and thought an elephant was like a
snake.

The fifth man examined the elephant’s leg and though an elephant was very much like a tree.

The sixth man examined the elephant’s tusk and thought an elephant was like a spear.

Sam Gross, the cartoonist actually added a seventh man who touched the elephant’s droppings and thought the elephant was soft and mushy!

Then they all went away to tell their story of what an elephant was like. When they compared notes on what they learned, they found themselves in complete disagreement!

So, who was right? They were all right, of course, based on their own personal perspective. Could it be argued that they were all wrong? Of course. Because you know what an elephant is really like. But, you wouldn’t be able to convince any one of them, because their experience and perspective told them otherwise. So, they all had the same intention; they were all at the same place at the same time. And yet, based on their own personal experience, they came away with very different viewpoints.

This story illustrates how much reality may be viewed differently depending upon one’s perspective.  This same scenario plays out everyday with your kids. You think you’re on the same page—and find that you’re not even on the same planet! And, if you don’t talk with them—yes, with not at—you’ll never know which part of the elephant they touched—and how much their perspective of the situation can vary from your own.

Enjoy your kids!

Dr. Vicki

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