Learn how this simple game can help children resolve their own conflicts
The phrase, "What you see is what you get" is a powerful tool to teach the principles of perception, deception, and perspective.
It's pretty silly, but kids love it and it creates a perfect segway into some pretty meaty subjects that would otherwise be difficult for children to understand. All you do is play the "I-Spy" game with a twist.
Find an object or person that you can see and say a clue so kids can try to guess what or who it is. Example: If you choose grass as your object you'd say something like, "I Spy something green."
Kids respond: "Is it a frog?" — You: "Nope"
Kids: "Is it Nancy's hat?"— You: "Nope" etc. until it is guessed.
Twist #1: Pinch your fingers together to create hand glasses. Turn your hands upside down to make really fancy hand glasses and call them "Truth Glasses". Play the game again only this time have the kids face different directions. Choose an object you know that only some of them can see. The kids facing the wrong direction will surely yell "that's not fair!" This is the perfect lead-in to teach children perception and perspective.
Twist #2: If you have any color-tinted cellophane and an old pair of sunglasses, have children trace and cut out the tinted cellophane to create lens covers. While the child is wearing their "Truth Glasses" take turns trying to guess colored objects without removing the glasses. Here's a Youtube link to better illustrate the STEM project.
Use these games to explain how a person's thoughts and experiences filter how they see the world around them. It's not necessarily right or wrong, it's just what they know. In time these form the paradigms which create the unique values and belief systems each of us operates from.
Can a perception or paradigm ever be wrong?
Well, that's a big question because one's perception is just the result of one's experiences, but certainly, they can be unhealthy experiences that can create toxic and destructive paradigms. (I told you these concepts are big for kids... but they get it when you boil it down and utilize the activities.) They can even lead to deceptions that feel so real you're sure everyone who doesn't see things like you is wrong.
And thus.. the root of many conflicts. If you can see things from another person's perspective you can at least understand where they are coming from. These differences in perspective and paradigms are why two people can look at the same thing and see it in two entirely different ways. It’s important for children and adults alike to understand these concepts, how they work, how to honor them in others, and how to navigate unhealthy ones.
Your practical application is to practice seeing through other people’s eyes to understand why they are thinking what they are thinking. When you encounter a disagreement, stop, ask yourself questions like, "why would this make them mad?" to try to see the other person’s point of view. You don’t have to agree with it, just try to understand it.
Step #8 - Train your brain for truth!
Use these tools with the Championeers! ESE Unit, Cowpie County to teach children how to solve problems, think happy, healthy thoughts, and discover their incredible worth!
For Happy, Healthy Homes and Schools!
Deanna Rhinehart, Championeers! Emotional Safety Education Systems
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