The Magic Sunglasses

Perspective taking is all about looking at things in a different way. Sometimes that can be really, really difficult for kids. The magic sunglasses are a concrete way to get the idea through to them, and it makes a huge difference.

By Amelia Baladez and Jessica Hooks | Jun 15, 2015
The Magic Sunglasses

Today's post comes from Amelia Baladez, Early Childhood Educator and Jessica Hooks, Clinical Coordinator who work with the Momentous Institute Launch Program. 
 
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The Launch program at Momentous is geared towards young kids ages 3-5 who are displaying emotional and behavioral challenges. Because of the different experiences and circumstances that have landed these kids in our program, they often feel threatened when we (adults) talk to them or guide them through a situation. And when they feel threatened, they either attack back or they completely shut down.
 
We needed to find a way to get these kids to look at situations differently. Instead of thinking that every adult interaction was going to be scary and threatening, we wanted them to see the positive. We found a great book called “Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses.” The book included a free animated video, which we loved, because kids love animated videos!

The story is about Pete the Cat who is having a very bad day. His friend, Grumpy Toad, who is surprisingly having a very good day, tells Pete his secret: he has magic sunglasses. The sunglasses help him see all the good in the world. Pete takes the sunglasses around to all of the other animals to help make their days better. In the end, his sunglasses break, and he learns that the sunglasses weren’t magic at all. It was all in his head. It’s all about perspective.
 
Even though the kids we work with are only 3-4 year olds, they got it. The story definitely made sense to them. But we wanted to be sure to apply the idea to their lives, so we did a little activity. We reminded our friends that sometimes we have strong feelings. Pete was having a very bad day at the beginning of the book, and we all feel that way sometimes. But maybe if we think about it from a different perspective, things aren’t as bad as they seem.
 
We brought in glasses for our friends. We told them that these weretheir magic glasses. They would help them to see things from a different perspective.
 


One friend in our class shared that his baby cousin had been staying at his house. The baby cried a lot and needed a lot of attention, and our friend was sad that his mom was spending more time taking care of his cousin and less time playing with him. We asked him to think about it from another perspective. With some guidance, he was able to come up with ways that he could help with the baby and spend time with his mom too. He thought of different songs he would teach the baby. This made his sadness feel more empowering and turned the negative into a positive situation.
 
Another kid in our class always wanted to use a certain pink heart-shaped pillow during quiet time. If another friend in the class was using it, she got really upset. She had meltdowns so big that we had to take her to the relaxation room to calm down. The magic glasses activity was eye-opening for her. We asked her to think about a different perspective. We asked, “What can we do if another friend is using the pink pillow?” It took her a little time, but she decided that she could use one of the other pillows or stuffed animals. It didn’t work perfectly every time, but we did notice that she started to approach quiet time in a different way. Before, she would walk up, see that the pink pillow was taken, and immediately have a meltdown. After, she was able to walk up, stop, and say, “That’s okay, I can use a different pillow.”
 
Perspective taking is all about looking at things in a different way. Sometimes that can be really, really difficult for kids. The magic sunglasses are a concrete way to get the idea through to them, and it makes a huge difference. 





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