Why is my child a show-off?

“Hey, watch me!”

“Look what I’ve got!”

“I’m buying a better one!”

“See what I can do!”

All kids, particularly at ten and eleven, show off. They demonstrate their skills or show possessions they’re proud of. Bragging can be a way to get peer approval or to feel equal to others. It’s also done in fun. As long as a child is generally caring and responsible, occasional showing off is not a problem.

Some parents actually encourage their child to be a show-off. A parent who repeatedly says, “You’re the only skilled one on the team,” or, “You’re much prettier than the other girls around here,” will reinforce self-centered ways. A child who’s not taught to consider other’ feelings won’t realize that most adults and children find showing off offensive.

While some kids are encouraged in their negative behavior, most who constantly boast and act silly do so because they’re insecure or unhappy. A child who behaves this way may feel unpopular with his peers or may lack sufficient support or guidance from his parents. He may show off in order to hide disturbing feelings.

Such a child often creates problems. At school he may be the “class clown,” and at home he may argue frequently with his siblings. With friends, he may be silly and disruptive. Such acting out is a way for him to release frustration and seek attention.

If your child consistently shows off, try to find out why. Begin by asking him what he thinks, although you may find him confused and unable to explain his feelings. Ask yourself these questions: Do I spend enough time with him? Do I encourage and compliment him? Does he feel overshadowed by his siblings? Is he jealous of them? Does he have friends? Does he do well in school? Is he compensating for what he sees as a defect, such as being overweight or small for his age?

Also ask yourself if you are somehow encouraging your child to show off. Do you talk about respecting other people? Do you make it clear that bragging is unacceptable? Do you set a good example for him? If you haven’t been setting firm enough limits, let him know what your expectations are. Talk to him about the importance of being considerate, modest, and patient.

 If you have been setting limits on showing off, becoming stricter won’t necessarily change your child’s behavior. He may feel angry, pressured, and upset at not being able to please you. He may continue to show off and become louder and more boisterous to rebel and express his frustration.

Instead, help him deal with the problems that cause him to show off. If he’s doing poorly in school, work with him on lessons and assignments and talk to his teachers. If he has few friends, make it easier for him to join a team or have classmates over.

If the problem is his relationship with the family, work on changing the way you treat him and his siblings. Concentrate on his strong points rather than his weak ones. Don’t compare him to his siblings. Try to give him enough positive attention so that he feels good about himself and has less need to brag.

Picture Credit : Google