When you realize that you have a self-centered child, you may at first be stunned and try to reflect on what might have cause it. A self-centered child does not happen overnight, but can be a result of three parenting habits that need to be addressed:
By nature, children are egocentric when they are young. Most children will outgrow this as they meet new friends. Some children struggle more with this, due to fears. Children who face a lot of fear may withdraw internally and become concerned with their own personal safety and happiness. What looks like self-centeredness from the outside could actually be a coping method on the inside. These children believe by limiting their exposure to others they limit the opportunity of being hurt by them. If your child appears to be self-centered out of fear the best way to deal with the situation is to address the underlying fear and create a plan for helping them create new experiences and accomplishments. Helping your child overcome their fear will help them move past self-centeredness.
Whether you are intentionally doing it or not you may be spoiling your child and creating a self-centered person. One way is simply by giving your child too much. If a child never wants for anything they never come to appreciate anything they have. Another way to spoil your child is to continually run interference. By continually protecting your child from feeling discomfort or experiencing growing pains in relationships with friends you are teaching them that only their feelings matter. This begins to make them self-centered and unaware of others feeling around them. You can combat this by helping your child learn empathy through volunteer service, through assigned chores at home, and by reducing the amount of material items they receive.
This is the hardest form of self-centeredness for your child to overcome. If they see you, as a parent, being self-centered they will naturally believe that is the way they should be and come to believe that is the normal expectations of others around them. By treating others around you poorly, or expecting too much from your children you are setting them up for failure. Expecting a child to be the best and achieve the best at everything they do tends to make them appear selfish and above their peers. Those around them simply look at your child as one who thinks they are better than others or too good for a team. The only way to solve self-centeredness is to realize that you are part of the problem and then become part of the solution.
The key when working with a child that is self-centered, is to take a good look at the situations that surround them to determine what factors can be changed. When you find areas that need improvement, work with your child to understand the changes that need to happen, set goals together, and work towards achieving those new goals while letting go of the self-centeredness.