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Selfish boy

(6 Posts)
daddoinghisbest Tue 14-Dec-10 19:16:48

I am really struggling to find ways to encourage my 10YO son to be less self centred, and I'd really appreciate some help. I'm a single dad and as he's my only child, he's been used to being the centre of attention which doesn't help I know. However, he's not spoilt and has a lovely character, and is fantastic to be with, (i know - I should just count my blessings) but he's not good at sensing when others are not happy doing what he wants to do - watching a particular prog on telly, or playing a particular game for eg. Or other times, I think he does know they want to do something different, but he ignores this and does what he wants. I can't seem to get him to understand that he will feel good by considering other people's feelings more. Any advice would be gratefully received. Or should I just encourage him to be a politician when he grows up?

pagwatch Tue 14-Dec-10 19:23:27

I think most young boys are like this aren't they?

Teaching consideration and putting others first is a slow process even with the nicest of children.

If he was constantly unable to grasp others feeling or unable to change conversation in spite of others being disinterested or bored then that could be an indication of a tendency to aspergers syndrome.

But I suspect you are just talking about a usual pre teen.

My dss are teenagers now and pretty considerate but you have to discuss the how's and why's. You especially have to model it and be deeply unsubtle about that as in
' yes my boy, I got that film out because I thought you would like it. I didn't just get the one I wanted. I considered you. As one should... Don't you agree.... '


worriermum Thu 16-Dec-10 15:29:33

I read your post with interest, ddhb, as I worry about the same thing with my DS. He's about to turn 7. But he's also an only child and I am starting to believe that his selfishness has a lot to do with that. THis is from chatting to moms of other "onlies" and from talking to the school psychologist about it. For me, this realisation was hugely helpful because it helped me to stay calm and constructive about the issue with DS, and to think of this as one just one more of the important lessons that are learned in time, with maturity and patience.
I had been getting myself into a tizz about his selfishness, believing he was bad or I was a bad parent.. But it was useful to see that he needs a bit more help with this issue because quite simply he gets less practice at having to bend to the will of other children.

Hope that helps. You sound like a great dad and I'm sure your DS will model himself on you in time.

wannabeglam Thu 16-Dec-10 18:25:30

As an only child myself I'd like to reassure parents of onlies that being an only child doesn't lead to selfishness as long as children are brought up to be considerate. And I agree with the other posts that this is a slow process.

As an adult now, I would say that my friends who had siblings (more than one usually) are more selfish. I think when they grow up they think 'great, now I don't have to share and can do what I want'.

My DS who's nearly 7 is also selfish. He has a sister. I think he'll become less selfish with time - I'm hoping so anyway smile

daddoinghisbest Mon 20-Dec-10 22:40:38

Many thanks for your posts. They're very helpful. It's easy to get hung up on one aspect of a child's personality and forget all the good sides eh? I just need to accept that learning to be considerate is part of his development and education along with all the other stuff and help him as best I can.

UniS Tue 21-Dec-10 12:14:25

even as grown ups we are not always GOOD or gracious at deciding to do what someone else would prefer in preference to our own choice.

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