Children and young people need to learn to understand and respect the feelings
Children and young people need to learn to understand and respect the feelings, emotions and behaviours of others to help them gain an understanding about their actions. Young children might find this difficult as their understanding will not be grown enough for them to put themselves in the position of others, but as children grow and learn they gain a greater experience of this. Often, older children discuss and debate through the viewpoints of other people. We speak to them in school about thinking of the results of their actions and how they might have affected others.
I encourage the children to start and understand the viewpoints of other people through these methods:
• Books and other literature: For example, asking the children about the people in the book, checking that they fully understand the book and asking them to predict what will happen next, and what effect it would have on the other characters in the book. This gets the young children to think about others and look at the story through another viewpoint.
• Assemblies: Sometimes visitors come into the school to lead assemblies about a wide range of topics. Fund raising can start from these type of assemblies. This allows the children within the school to think about the people who are less lucky than them and this gives them a chance to see life through another point of view.
• Role play: When role playing, children can imitate and enjoy the feeling of being different characters. The feelings and behaviour from these role plays allows the child to understand his/her own emotions.
• Play times: Play times are a common place where staff encourage young people to understand and respect other people’s feelings.
These ways can help the children to start understanding other people and can help them a lot later in life.