Children need to see the big picture.
They are naturally very ego-centric, greatly concerned with their little corner of the world -- their toy box, their food, their art. Don’t take my toys, don’t eat my food, don’t mess up my art. It’s super important to them. It’s what they have. It’s what they know.
They don’t think about the children in Africa who are playing with old tires and sticks.
Not that we need to haunt them with images and make them guilty for having fun. But what we can do is teach them life commandments and value systems, helping them see the world for more than the things they possess.
Big picture thinking says “this won’t matter as much in ten minutes.”
Big picture thinking says “your relationships are more important than your toys.”
Big picture thinking puts others' feelings first, realizing that this moment in time will pass and things will change. It puts things in perspective.
So as often as I can, I remind my four year old of these simple truths, so foreign in his world of me, me, me. And eventually he will begin to see the really big picture -- beyond family and friends. He’ll see how his choices affect the community, the environment, the government.
Big picture thinking equips children for a positive world impact.
Click here to read the rest of the posts in the series, 31 Days to Happier Children.