Boy, it really is hard to make a kid give something without receiving anything. What is it about us that the first thought that enters our mind is “what about me?” Even as adults we think like that at first. At least, I do.
I started noticing it with my daughter since she was three (2 years ago). Even when we gave something to an adult, she complained because there was nothing for her. At first, we let her be. Now, we stop and remind her that it’s person X’s day and not hers. We remind her how we must make sure the other person feels special and that’s why the gifts are for them only.
Keeping things balanced
Selfishness is something that is not allowed in our household. We are in constant struggle with our kids because of this. Every time one of them rips something away from the other’s hands, we jump to the scene and make sure that both are treated equally. No one is better than no one. Sometimes the balance seems to shift towards my baby boy (because of his age) but surely, we balance it out eventually.
What a tough lesson to teach. I mean, even I have trouble with it. All I know is that I will not rest until I make sure that none of my kids think of themselves first. It might seem impossible, but at least they will have to do a conscious effort to ignore my nagging.
Selfishness brings loneliness
Think about it. Who wants to be around a selfish person? No one! That’s something I do not wish upon my kids. Or anyone for that matter. Every time we think of us, instead of the person in front of us, we distance ourselves from that person. And every time we think of others first, we get closer. Our compassion transmits a friendship wave that others can perceive and join your circle.
Buying things in pairs
In my family, I’ve seen this happen many times. They arrive for my daughter’s birthday and give out two gifts: One for her and one for him. This simple detail helps in keeping the “this is mine” battle at bay. I’ve often thought this was an absurd way of thinking. After all, the one that is not supposed to get a gift, should learn that not everything is about them always. It’s a major contradiction on my part. I know. On one side, I’m happy because no fights will be heard, but on the other side, it bothers me because they are not learning to think of others first.
Sharing is key
Master Yoda, often tells me that. She will ask: “Only one of them has a toy?, then they can share it!” The wise one is correct. Instead of thinking of themselves, they should make sure the goods are shared between them. Not an easy task but in the long run, sharing will help them beat selfishness. Giving your toys to others and receiving other kid’s play things, helps in learning to take care of them, it makes you responsible. And it also ensures the company of a friend.
How about you? What do you do to help your children be less selfish?