Are children selfish by nature?

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Are children selfish by nature?

Postby myWQ » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:12 pm

Hi Parents,

I am a mummy to a toddler. I have been puzzled by the actions of some children and wish to get some feedback.

When I bring my girl out to play or swim, we will come across children (mostly around 4 ys old and above) who will snatch their toys/floats/water guns away when my child touches them or wants to play with them. Other instances are that a group of kids will be playing with some toys and when my child approached them they will move themselves and all their toys to another place to play. They will say things like "Hey that is mine" or "Don't touch my things".

I am very puzzled because my girl very willingly shares her
toys with others. She will even volunteerily offer her tricycle to other kids who want a ride on it.

I use the word 'selfish' because I could not think of another word to better describe the scenarios, and not as a critique of the children's behaviour.

Can any parent please enlighten me? I am at a lost of how to explain to my girl should she ask me next time why the other kids don't want to share their toys with her.

myWQ
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Postby tankee » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:36 pm

IMO, human are selfish by nature.


Some years' back, when DS was still a toddler, we were at a toy section of a departmental store. DS was playing with a displayed toy when a younger girl came along and snatched the toy from his hands, while saying "Must share ! must share !" :| when DS tried to pick up another toy of the same displayed set, that same girl again snatched it from him saying "Must share ! must share !" :x

As the girl's parent was no where in sight :roll: I have no choice but coax DS to go else where.

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Postby auntieM » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:46 pm

Interesting topic.. ...
We encourage our DS to share his stuff, but since young I sort of taught him not to 'take' other people's stuff.. ..Unless it is a willing party and then they can go ahead and play..
:wink:

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Postby KSP » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:46 pm

Yes, I would think so. When my dd was around 3-4 she was jealous whenever I carried other baby (or child). She would ask me to put down and carry her. I suppose jealous is also part of selfishness especially for this case she was not willing to share me with other children. But as time goes, we don't see this behaviour anymore maybe throught life exposure, maturity and teaching (in school/home).

KSP
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Postby kiddo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:12 pm

heloo :D

I think this is a nature vs nurture issue,

If your nature is good by birth you will be move along in early life being good like your daughter myWQ. until something and her later learning
teach her otherwise and if she take it in ?

Some kids can be nuture to learn good from a very young age and this
depend very much on the parenting style, her caregiver way of dealing with her nature and the environment.

This has been used many times in childcaring and I think it still hold truth
as parents of any child, we indeed can mould a child into a different person :


Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

:celebrate: to all kiasuparents..

kiddo
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Postby tankee » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:32 pm

auntieM wrote:Interesting topic.. ...
We encourage our DS to share his stuff, but since young I sort of taught him not to 'take' other people's stuff.. ..Unless it is a willing party and then they can go ahead and play..
:wink:


this is good approach.

I am trying to go by this approach too, but once in a while, DS will challenge me with "why should I share with xxx when he\she does not share with me?"

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Postby KSP » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:50 pm

kiddo wrote:heloo :D

Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

:celebrate: to all kiasuparents..


Image

KSP
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Postby myWQ » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:51 pm

I did not have much interaction with children before my girl came along so I'm not sure what is the norm and what isn't.

So can I conclude that it is normal and acceptable for children to behave 'selfishly' and is a bonus/in them if they are willing to share?

So when my child asks me why don't they want to share, I tell her it is because the kids do not like to share?? Or teach her not to touch other people's things without permission? If the latter, what if she starts to demand other kids ask her permission before sharing her own toys? Won't this be a step backwards?

myWQ
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Postby sleepy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:52 pm

Read somewhere previously. Before 3yo, children are self centered ,doesn't mean they are selfish though. There is a subtle difference, pardon my limited vocab, don't know how to explain clearer

Anyway, after 3 yo, they would slowly learn empathy (with parents' input the right values) and be able to relate better to group environment & play with other children instead of play along each other.

sleepy
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Postby LOLMum » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:02 pm

we dont mind sharing toys with others but at least have the decency (especially those with parents and maids with them) to return the toys to us or at least ask "can they play together" and "thank you".

yes, kids dont know how to ask, they just join in which is fine with us. but with adults around, at least the adutls should have the courtesy to ask us or at least smile in our direction. no, no, they just sat there like a dummy as if it is theirs and their children's right to play with others' toys.

sometimes, my kids' toys went missing and now if we have a new or expensive toy, we really dont wish to share with others and it is our right not to share as well but it is not anyone's right to be impolite and expect others to share.

LOLMum
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