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7 year old ds1 is show off and I find it embarrassing.

(18 Posts)
losenotloose Sun 23-Feb-14 16:14:33

he's the best at everything. we all want our dc to have self confidence, but I think he's spilled over into arrogance. how can encourage humility in him? I think he comes across as bratty as when he's with friends, it's constantly I'm the best at running, swimming, breathing etc. or I'm better than you at xyz.

any suggestions?

jumperooo Sun 23-Feb-14 16:24:55

It may seem harsh but I would try and find some kids for him to hang around that are more talented than him at swimming/running/anything. <unhelpful>

losenotloose Sun 23-Feb-14 16:31:40

I would try that, but his friends are not such show offs! there's a boy in his class he's not keen on, I'm pretty sure because he's just as much of a show off and he prefers friends he can dominate a bit.

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 16:33:44

What happens when you call him on his attitude and say "no-one likes a show off"?

Could he actually be a bit insecure underneath his bravado?

CarolineKnappShappey Sun 23-Feb-14 16:36:01

I feel for you. We have one I. DS's class and my heart sinks every time I have to be near him as it's a total pain in the arse , especially if you have a kid who is either not good at stuff, it is not boastful.

lljkk Sun 23-Feb-14 17:08:13

Get him into Athletics or competitive swim club or gymnastics?

MegBusset Sun 23-Feb-14 17:11:33

I was going to say enrol him in something he's rubbish at grin

Or how about karate? A lot of emphasis on respecting your opponent while still being able to channel his competitive spirit.

losenotloose Sun 23-Feb-14 17:14:55

he doesn't see why it's a problem. his attitude is but I am better. I've just gotten cross with him about it but I don't know if it will make any difference.

kslatts Sun 23-Feb-14 17:29:59

I agree that karate could be good for him.

cory Sun 23-Feb-14 19:10:42

I;m not so sure about taking him down a peg.

Ime boasting in young boys is almost always linked in insecurity and you won't make that go away by letting him find his lowly place in the scheme of things. If you do enrol him in something let it be because you think the discipline will do him good, not so he can be humbled, not sure that works at that age.

Instead, I would home in on the boasting as simple bad manners. Don't go into long rigmaroles about how it won't make people like him, just spell it out that this is bad manners like not saying please and thank you and then pull him up on it every single time. Don't enter any discussion, just tell him it is bad manners.

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 23-Feb-14 23:02:25

Is it linked to insecurity? Or a competitive family? Where is he getting this from? The boys who boast much in DS's class have very competitive parents. Can you be ultra non competitive yourself (you possibly are anyway).

Can you point out good behaviour in other children 'oh x ran so fast today and won the race but was so considerate to poor z who came last. Did you see he didn't show off at all. He's such a kind boy'. Can you big up other qualities such as consideration/thoughtfulness/kindness etc.

tell your son that anyone can win/lose but its how you win/lose that matters. If he boasts about winning, tell him winning isn't really that important, how he treats others is important and by showing off he is trying to make others feel small and lesser.

MrRected Sun 23-Feb-14 23:08:28

In my experience it's definitely linked to insecurity.

My DS1 was like this at this age. We had moved country - so he ended up in 3 schools within 4 years.

What worked for us was constantly calling him on it in a gentle way in combination with peer pressure - when got to age 10 he started being ostracised. He soon figured it out and is now the complete opposite. He is still terribly insecure and has low self esteem, which we are working on.

losenotloose Sun 23-Feb-14 23:34:55

it's difficult to tell. I would say we are a non-competitive family. I'm definitely not, and dh doesn't even support a football team. he doesn't seem insecure at all, but maybe it's hard for me to see? I don't know where he gets it from, I'm actually the opposite, insecure and low self esteem.

I think explaining it's bad manners might be a good idea, although I have resorted to telling him he'll have no friends if he carries on.

god, it's such a minefield. what causes low self esteem in kids? he has said he won't show off next time we're with friends, but who knows!

PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 23-Feb-14 23:40:19

My 8 year old sounds similar to your op - always thinks he's the best at everything, tells people (excessively) about any actual success often exaggerating the result. I saw it as endearing self-confidence when he was younger but now it makes me cringe when he starts & I try to play it down. I'm guessing it's insecurity in my DS but no idea where it's come from or how to help him hmm

losenotloose Sun 23-Feb-14 23:45:07

that's the thing, the older they get the more I just think "shut up!" I want him to have confidence, but this is different. it doesn't come across well.

losenotloose Sun 23-Feb-14 23:46:36

why is it insecurity though? can't it just be that he's big headed? he really doesn't seem insecure.

Mrswellyboot Mon 24-Feb-14 00:04:36

This is hard be because by boasting he is crying out for attention but that will turn people away.

You can try a few things. Don't question him in front of others but have sanctions that you talk about in private with him. So if he shares compliments etc he will get a token for good behaviour etc.

Also give him some jobs to do so he feels important and doesn't have to try so hard. Praise him early on and tell him how proud you are of him and he is a good boy and good at lots of things. Then tell him that everyone is special. Maybe talk about animals. Like giraffes have long necks to reach the top of the tree to eat and nature is so clever that other animals are small and eat from the bottom of the tree. The world is Jigsaw and everyone is needed to make it complete.

Maybe ask his teacher to introduce some social stories / conversational skills in class

This is a nice story www.electricscotland.com/kids/stories/dragonfly.htm

gretagrape Mon 24-Feb-14 09:56:37

I'd second the lighthearted suggestion of enrolling him in something where either he won't be the best, or will have to work as part of a team where your success depends on others.
My friend has a 8yo who is like this and it's definitely not down to insecurity, if anything she is totally pandered to and gets 100% attention from her Mum all day - she's not a very nice little girl now, and even her Mum has no idea how to change her attitude, so I'd persevere in trying to find something he will stick at but at the same time learn about teamwork.

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