All children can be boastful, proud and bragging at times, but a small number of kids are self-centered and egotistical all the time. For children who don't have this type of personality, being around arrogant children can be challenging. If your child has a self-centered peer at school or at extra-curricular activities, it can be hard for her to be excited about spending time near that child. Arm her with the tools necessary to feel good about herself while also dealing with the difficult child, and you can rest assured that she'll be fine even if it is hard for her.
Validate your child's feelings. Often, children just want someone to listen to their problems, without needing to hear suggestions to make things better. Let your child vent about what's bothering her and let her know that it's all right to feel that way as long as she doesn't retaliate.
Remind your child that self-centered children try to make everyone else feel inferior, but that doesn't mean anyone really is inferior. Ask your child to list the qualities that make her special, so she remembers that no one is any better than she is. Use this as a teachable moment: Tell your child that what makes her special is important, but she shouldn't think she's better than anyone else, either.
Encourage your child to distance herself from the arrogant child. While you should remind your child to treat everyone respectfully, she also needs to know that she doesn't have to be friends with people who aren't nice to her. Instead, invite other children for play dates or take them on outings together. When your child has strong friendships, she's more likely to let the antics of a self-centered peer roll off her back.
Consider arranging for the egotistical child to spend time alone with your child. Chances are, that child isn't so bad in a one-on-one situation. Encouraging the two to get to know each other better might help them realize that they have a lot in common and that there's potential for a friendship if they get past their differences. Arrogant children often suffer from low self-esteem, according to the Family Education website, and forming a friendship can help alleviate egotistical behavior by helping that child feel better about himself.
Talk to the arrogant child's parents if all else fails. Most parents want their children to feel good about themselves, but not at the expense of other children. Often, this is the first time the child's parents have heard about the issue. Talking about it in a respectful way might be all it takes to bring the child down a notch.
- If your child complains of bullying behavior, such as racist or sexual remarks or repeated physical abuse, speak with your child's teacher, coach, principal or superintendent immediately.
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