By Australian Childhood Foundation
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Close-up of a toddler's face
The more we understand how our children think and see the world, the more we can help and support them. One of the ways we can do this is to think about memories of our own childhood and imagine the world from a child’s point of view.

Remembering what it was like to be a child

Children think differently from adults. They do not always understand situations in the same way. For example, children can think they are to blame for things that have nothing to do with them.

Here are some ideas for thinking like a child.

  • Think about significant things that happened to you as a child and reflect on how they have influenced your life and relationships.
  • What things did your parents say and do that were important to you?
  • What would you have liked your parents to have said or done?
  • What experiences do you want your child to remember?
Try walking in your child’s shoes for a while to understand your child’s experience of the world. How does it feel to be so small when everyone is so big? What is it like to be unable to find the words to say how you feel?

What you can do

  • Children need you to help them develop and grow. As adults, it is our responsibility to respect and appreciate children.
  • Consult children about things that affect their lives. As adults, we try to balance a child’s own wishes and views with what is safe and reasonable. As they get older, allow children to have more say in their own lives. Give your child some choices and be prepared to accept your child’s choices.
  • Help children take on responsibilities.
  • Understand that children might think and feel differently to the way you do.
  • Make sure that children feel listened to. Children need to feel you respect them in order to feel good about themselves.
  • Appreciate and celebrate children’s individuality.
  • Make sure children feel safe and protected.