Developing Zoom-Out skills in our children can boost their wellbeing and resilience. It can also help them lead more fulfilled and adaptable lives.
A classic parenting skill is that of being able to direct the attention of our children. Helping them to focus on helpful things, especially when a child is upset or exhibiting unhelpful or harmful behaviours.
With Zoom-Out, we want to cultivate the ability of a child to direct their own attention. To see the bigger picture and alternative points of view. To break free of limiting, damaging and unhelpful perspectives about the world, other people and indeed, themselves. In short, we want them to get good at being able to:
“Zoom-Out to find the most helpful perspective”– The Zoom-Out MOTTO
Zoom-Out and Zoom-In within the context of parenting has three aspects:
1) Be mindful of what we Zoom-In on in front of our children
2) Be careful not to Zoom-In unhelpfully on aspects of our children
3) Be vigilant to our children becoming unhelpfully `Zoomed-In
Do keep in mind “Realistic Optimism“. We don’t want to paint an overly positive and optimistic view of reality – that would not serve our children well. As Jordon Peterson eloquently points out:
Parents have a duty to act as proxies for the real world—merciful proxies, caring proxies—but proxies, nonetheless.– Jordon Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
See also how the Danes are natural Zoom-Out’ers and leverage this with their children: