Help your child practice looking at things from another person’s perspective. Talk about why always putting yourself first can make it hard to get along with other kids. Encourage him to think about how others might interpret his actions before he says or does something.
What you can say
“Jacob, I always try to look at a situation from your side before I do or say something that affects you. For example, before choosing a restaurant, I think about whether you and your sister might like it. You love Thai food. But your sister isn’t crazy about it. How would she feel if the only places we ever went to were Thai restaurants?”
“Thinking about other people’s perspectives is a bit like being a professional golfer. Before Tiger Woods makes a putt, he looks at the green from all sides. That’s what I want you to do before you speak with a friend. Think about how he might react before you speak. The more you can do that, the more friends you’ll have.”
Why this will help
Tweens and teens, especially those with learning and attention issues, often need help seeing the big picture. It can be hard for them to understand why demanding to get what they want in the short term can hurt their social life in the long term. You can help your child improve his social skills by practicing taking other people’s perspectives and factoring those in before responding.