Fostering empathy in children poses a considerable challenge, especially when they exhibit obstinate and selfish behavior– a common trait seen in many children.
Needless to say, these unacceptable behaviors common in young children can pose a hurdle in cultivating qualities such as empathy, generosity, and thoughtfulness toward others.
It is then incumbent upon us to play an active role in fostering kindness and selflessness in children, rather than tolerating unacceptable behavior. Our efforts in this regard are crucial to their personal development and growth.
What Is Spoiled Child Syndrome?
Children with self-centered behavior exhibit unrestrained and unreasonable demands for immediate gratification. They have trouble empathizing with those around them, becoming overly self-absorbed and lacking empathy.
However, given their tender age, kids may not be cognitively mature enough to understand the importance of showing compassion toward others. As a result, other people’s feelings and needs are treated with a great deal of annoyance and indifference.
It is important to note, however, that these selfish traits and attitudes are common to young children and can be tamed over time.
As they grow up, they’ll develop a deeper understanding of other people’s feelings and needs. Thus, they will learn to curb their self-centered and self-indulgent behaviors on their own. Nevertheless, it is still necessary for parents to train and modify children’s selfish behaviors to ensure children grow up to be compassionate and selfless.
What Causes a Child to Develop Spoiled Child Syndrome
1. Permissive parenting style
A parenting style that overindulges children by caving in to their unreasonable demands.
Consequently, overindulged children will struggle to acknowledge “no” as a response since they are accustomed to having their demands met by their permissive parents.
2. Genetic makeup and spoiled child syndrome
Children’s genetic makeup can have a lingering effect on their behavior.
If kids are genetically predisposed to exhibit behavior devoid of sympathy for others, parents will find it hard to modify selfish behavior even when armed with the right parenting strategy.
Nevertheless, using a parenting approach that fits your child’s personality and character is still advised.
It may not instantly rid your child of spoiled child syndrome [as he has the genetic disposition to exhibit such unacceptable traits], but it will certainly help attenuate his selfish behaviors.
3. Psychological problems
Psychological problems can arise in children who have experienced traumatic events – and one of the undesirable outcomes that can arise from such experiences is extreme self-centeredness.
Exhibiting extreme selfish behavior is a form of defense mechanism. It is their way of protecting themselves from people, places, or situations they consider a threat to them.
4. Age-related behavior
Children pass through the preoperational stage that occurs from 2- 7 years of age. It is the second stage of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, wherein kids cannot still grasp or understand how their selfish behavior affects others.
Although it’s a normal phase of growing up, parents are still encouraged to use behavior modification techniques to correct them. We can rectify these negative behaviors by adopting the right parenting strategy.
And according to most child psychologists, the authoritative parenting style is the best approach to correct kids’ behavior. Nevertheless, parents are encouraged to exercise due diligence in choosing relevant strategies when dealing with misconduct and disobedience.
We know our children fully well to figure out what type of parenting style suits them best. Nevertheless, whatever parenting methodology we choose to adopt, we should never resort to physical or emotional abuse in disciplining children.