I was having a discussion with my son the other day about his perception of the girls’ (his sisters’) games. He mentioned how uninteresting it seemed when they delightedly explained all these things their dolls or make believe characters were doing. He explained it was hard to be interested in these things when there are things such as Math (he is studying algebra) and 3d Modeling (he’s teaching himself to use the program Blender), or computer programming. (he also enjoys computer games and creating with legos)
We discussed how important it is to take an interest in someone else’s interests for the sake of being interested in the person, and understanding the person, rather than simply to interest ourselves. He commented that then we “fake interest”. But I think that when we decide to take an interest in something for another person’s sake, we become interested in the actual subject. In a way, we enter the person’s world when we take an interest in their interest.
It IS difficult as adults to thoroughly immerse ourselves in child’s play. It feels like it is wasting time. We have so many things to do, and so little time. While I don’t have answers to how to do this effectively all the time (and in realty, we can’t always, even if we wanted to), I think we should appreciate a child’s (or anyone’s) world: their perceptions of things, their interests, the way they feel in response to happenings.
The world others exist in IS real – to them, just as real as ours is to us.