Do you have a child who refuses to share candy with his/her siblings? Do they prefer to keep all the toys in the nursery to themselves instead of playing with their friends?
Most parents have experienced these situations before their child turned two because, at this age, children perceive everything they see or touch to be their own. As they turn two, they start to give up some of their possessions to their parents. Turning three, they start to give stuff away to their siblings. Their understanding of the concept of sharing gets clearer when they are four years of age. That means that a child who has problems sharing after this age is dealing with selfishness and that, accordingly, requires immediate educational intervention.
What is the meaning of selfishness?
Specialists see that selfishness is a behavior that mostly acquired from the environment by imitating older siblings. A selfish child is also the product of being over spoiled by receiving whatever they demand; so they figure it is natural to have all their desires met. Your child’s selfishness could also be traced back to their feelings of negligence or helplessness so they resort back to themselves and their belongings.
As with any behavioral deviation, the solution lies in the hands of the parents and the nursery. Through cooperation and by exerting joint efforts to redirect their behaviors, you can help your children grow into more caring individuals. The first step is talking gently to the child about this despised trait and what problems it might cause them. You should also stop getting all their desires even when they throw terrible tantrums. This is how they’ll understand that they can’t get all they want whenever they want.
At “Little Academy“, our teachers always place a great emphasis on the concept of sharing by allowing the children to play together and setting up group activities they all get involved in. They also ask them to help each other to understand the importance of caring for others. Therefore, if you believe that your child is showing any signs of selfishness, you can seek the teacher-help at the nursery to back your efforts by setting up an effective action plan.
How do you deal with a selfish child ?
Because children learn their lessons best through practical experiences, here are some tips to deal with selfish child :
– Take them to buy toys and ask them to share with their siblings or classmates. If they refuse at first, they’ll eventually respond to your recurring attempts especially when you reinforce their behaviors by praising and acknowledging their generosity.
– Parents should also model generosity by explicitly sharing their food or belongings; so their children can see that these behaviors are the natural thing to do.
– Talk gently to the child about this despised trait and what problems it might cause them.
– You should also stop getting all their desires even when they throw terrible tantrums.
– Telling your child stories that tackle questions of selfishness and generosity will foster the other steps.
– Be proud that you’ll help your child give up this character weakness which unfortunately persists with a lot of children as they grow up.