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Selfish 7 year old, or is this normal?

(6 Posts)
Littlemisssunshine75 Wed 21-Jan-15 14:25:10

I'm quite worried about my ds, who's almost 8. He's a very confident boy, and is happy most of the time (when he's not whinging that is!) but I keep noticing again and again that all he thinks about really is himself. (He does show concern for people when they hurt themselves etc, and cuddles me when I'm sad, so he can notice that kind of thing.)

I'm going to struggle to put my concerns into words, but most of the time he doesn't seem capable of noticing or even being aware of how other people might be feeling. He misjudges situations and ploughs on in.

This morning I introduced him to someone, and he started on a monologue about him, his life, what he likes, and then proceeded to sing him a song from the Christmas show he did at school in December.
On one hand I'm happy that he certainly has more confidence than I did when I was little, but on the other hand I'm worried for him. I was pretty aware of undercurrents even at his age I'm sure, and generally hung back to be on the safe side. As a result, I can't figure out whether ds is normal or whether it's something that we should be trying to help him with more.
I have always encouraged him to do things and be independent, so maybe it's my fault. I just didn't want him to be as shy and introverted as I was when I was younger.

Can anyone put any perspective on this? What are your dc's of a similar age like?

AchyMcAcherson Wed 21-Jan-15 14:40:01

I have often wanted to ask a similar question here but haven't for fear of flaming. My dsd is 8 & appears to show no empathy or concern for other people. In particular their feelings. She's a nice girl but doesn't seem to be able to care about people's feelings or see that sometimes people may get hurt by what she says or does. If we say something like 'DSD that was rude & you've hurt (for example) grandma's feelings" she'll just shrug & say 'meh'. I don't know if this is an age thing or not.
So no advice I'm afraid but I'll be very interested in the replies!

Sleepytea Wed 21-Jan-15 14:44:20

I remember reading somewhere that children don't develop true empathy until they are much older. At this age it is all about them and it's down to us to teach them to think of others.

Davsmum Wed 21-Jan-15 16:21:59

I don't think he sounds unusal. Surely an 8 year old would be more concerned about themself?
I would rather my DS be like that rather than be worrying about other people like some sensitive children do.
He will learn more about being concerned about others as he gets older, especially if he sees you doing that.
He sounds lovely, cuddling you when you are sad!

Littlemisssunshine75 Wed 21-Jan-15 19:01:30

Thanks davsmum smile He can be lovely, but I do worry when for example we go to the park and there's a couple of kids playing with a ball - he'll just hurl himself in, regardless of whether they want him to play or not. He never stops to think, just goes and does what he wants to do. I would never have done this, at any age I don't think. I always would have hung back and waited to be invited, or asked if I could join in. Is that normal?

Sleepy, I constantly try to teach him empathy but unless I point it out he doesn't really see it. I know he's still young, but I am used to working with kindergarten age children, and by the time they leave our class a lot of them have more empathy and are more aware of situations than ds seems to be.

Achy, glad it's not just me! I'm not worried about getting flamed - I would just like to be able to gauge where he is compared to other kids, so I know whether it's me being concerned over nothing, or whether we need to work even harder on this than we already do. I wonder if maybe our dc's will find it easier to realise how they've made someone feel the older they get... Does your dd ever show concern about others feelings?

Davsmum Thu 22-Jan-15 08:33:29

Please don't worry - I think it is lovely to have the confidence to just go and join in like he does. i don't think other children find it as unusual as you might. My DD used to hang back and was too afraid to join in unless asked whereas my DS was like yours - he would just get in there. He made lots of friends and had a good time where my daughter, I think, missed out.

There is always a chance a child may resent him doing this or be a bit off with him - but I bet your DS probably wouldn't be bothered! I really would worry more if he was too shy to try!

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