How can we teach a child to not be too self centred?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How can we teach a child to not be too self centred?

Postby Midori » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:55 pm

My child is getting more and more self centred. Whatever he does and things that he loves to eat, he will always think of himself first and not his brother or other family members.

I have thought him many times, but it seems it still didn't work :? Anyone has good suggestions?

Midori
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Postby Bowie » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:38 pm

Hi,

This work for me on my 2.5yo. I have this habit to recount the day activities with my girl before her bed time. In the recounting, I have invented a character call "turtle" (not very creative) who represent my girl and will describe what turtle do on that day.

Good or Bad behavior will be highlighted and I will ask my girl on her opinion as the story evolves. She knows turtle is actually her and when presented this way, she usually will reflect on herself and I observed slowly the idea will sink in.

Sometimes it take longer time to register the idea in her mind. But it usually works well with my gal.

Maybe u can try.... but I not sure if it can work on older kids. :?

Bowie
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Re: How can we teach a child to not be too self centred?

Postby jedamum » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:37 pm

Midori wrote:My child is getting more and more self centred.

Midori,
perhaps you want to update your profile so that we know which child (age, first or secondborn etc) you are talking about.

jedamum
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Re: How can we teach a child to not be too self centred?

Postby Midori » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:02 pm

Thank you Bowie & Jedamum! My boy is 7 yrs old..

Bowie, your suggestion is brilliant. I'll see how to use it on my 7 yrs old..

cheers
Midori

Midori
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Re: How can we teach a child to not be too self centred?

Postby jedamum » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:24 pm

Midori wrote:I have thought him many times, but it seems it still didn't work :? Anyone has good suggestions?

i believe you meant 'taught' - so do you just try to teach by saying instead of 'doing'?
Try giving him your last piece of his favourite food (cherry, roast pork etc etc) and ask him how he feel and tell him how you feel and why you do so.
Is there a 'family habit' of challenging each other like see who eats the fastest, who do what the fastest, who is better at what, that every thing must win? I hope not. I do occasionally see parents playing with their kids and when their kids achieve some stuff, they parents proudly proclaim the kid to be a winner. Unless the kid is matured enough to win/lose graciously, most times, to kids, when there is a winner, there will be a loser and he who dont want to be a loser may (but not will) not grow to be as close to their 'rivals' which in these cases to be siblings. Being self-centre may be an instinct of self-preservation and survival.
To reduce self-centre-ness, the way the family 'operates' also plays a part. We may not know it, but if we reflect, sometimes it's our very actions that rubs off on the kids.
jmho.

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Re: How can we teach a child to not be too self centred?

Postby Midori » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:18 pm

Yes, you're right. I know what you mean. No, that's not our family culture. When they were younger. My MIL did do that, but I stop her from doing it.

Thank you

Midori
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Postby amylqf » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:39 pm

In the beginning, I thought self centered behavior was more prolong to single child. but nowadays, I will say, with both parents working environment, most of kids are spoiled by in house maid or in law. Self centered may be quite common.

amylqf
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Postby sleepy » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:10 pm

I always ask my kids to share with me their yummy food. They would share, abit unwilliingly initially. Anyway, I make sure I really eat it. I know they feel heartpained but I pretend not to notice & always praise them for taking care of me

After a while, they got use to the 'concept'. Before eating any yummy food or sweets, they would ask me whether I want to eat? They would also save the food they deem nice for me or keep some for daddy, rather than finished up all the nice dishes. Now doing all these willingly

My elder girl even took one step further. During a rainy day, she asked me to move to the inner side of the void deck so that she can block the rain for me :hugs:

Have to keep drilling them whenever opportunities arise. Took me at least a year to see some positive results

sleepy
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Postby Midori » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:25 pm

Dear Sleepy

Thank you for your suggesiton! I started trying over the weekend, it works.

I started on Sat and Sun they started to offer me by themselves! :celebrate:

I believe, I have to remind them once it a while before it become a habit.

Thank you!

Midori
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How can we teach a child to not be too self centredd?

Postby Skippy » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:43 pm

[Editor's note: Topic selected and edited for Portal publishing.]

Hello Midori & parents

I'm new to the forum and thought I would share some thoughts on this topic.

It is normal for kids to be primal and self centred as they usually have their own needs as their primary concern. In fact there are lots of adults who still have not grown out of it ! LOL. As they grow and develop in a loving family, it's up to the parents to teach values such as giving, kindness and caring. When we teach these as parents we try to avoid telling kids they are bad when they are only looking out for themselves because they are not. Instead just direct them to the behaviour you wish them to display e.g. When they grab the last 2 cookies in the jar " Do you think you can share that with your sister"? or "May I please have one and you can have the other"?

Several ways come to mind. We can role model this value. Kids observe how mum and dad treat each other, how we treat our neighbours e.g. my mum used to share our food with an old man next door who had no family, there in was my desire as an adult to care for others from this first memory, give your seat on the MRT or bus to an elderly or disabled person etc. When you do, tell your child "Sometimes others need the seat more than we do" - Find ways to model giving and your child will learn quickly. Reinforce this by telling them why you are doing it.

- Story books! Find stories where kindness is the value and moral of the story. Read together and discuss with your child e.g. "Did you think the boy was kind in this story"? "Would you do the same if it were you"? This discussion will plant seeds of kindness and giving. I used to create stories for my kids and nieces and nephews, you can to!

- Pets: Kids are so used to being looked after, pets allow them to look out for someone else. I got my boys Goldfish in a small pond as we could not afford a dog or cat due to vet costs. They would wash the bowl out once a week, feed them twice a day etc. It was their responsibility and they loved it! Crazy crabs, mini turtles, pot plants are other things that can instill care for something outside themselves.

- Volunteer to visit an elderly neighbour, let them partake in baking cupcakes to take to them or some other local dish. "Let's visit Uncle Tan who has no family and let's make him something this saturday, what do you think"? Such a good way to teach kids that they are not the centre of the universe all the time!

- Do something special and small for their maid once a week. It may be singing a song, or helping to make her a cup of tea, or drawing her a picture as an appreciation for her care all through the week.

- Movies that instill themes of giving, kindness is yet another way! Provided you pause the movie after 20 minutes and talk about some of things in the movie.

- Find opportunities to get kids to help you out, even if you have a maid helping you with the shopping. Let them carry a small shopping bag home after grocery shopping, help wash the car, tidy their toys, dust out a book shelf etc. There is great value in what may seem like a small task but it for the whole family and not just for themselves. Tell them what a good job they have done after the task is done.

Hope this helps your kids learn heaps from your guidance!!

Skippy
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