How to Control Your Child's Ego
It’s important to help our children develop a positive ego. This is because positive ego relates to their own self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes, certain children develop a negative ego, which can be quite bad for their future. This is why, in this article, we’ll give you some strategies to help you control your child’s ego.
What’s an ego?
According to psychologists, the ego is an agent in the psychic apparatus, by which people identify themselves as individuals. This way, they’re able to separate the “I” from other people and become aware of their own identity. Just as Vincente Simón says: “Ego is a mental construct basically containing the image that one has of oneself”.
Psychology explains that the ego develops from other people’s perceptions about oneself. Actually, its development begins in relation to the mother’s perception once the baby is born. In this sense, the mother is the mirror in which babies reflect, and as a result, babies develop their ego and their own identity. As the person grows, the ego allows them to identify themselves and recognize themselves among others.
The problems begin when the person develops a negative ego. This means that they feel superior or better than others. That’s to say, people with a negative or big ego always want to stand out among others. Furthermore, they always want to be right, recognized, and praised.
In addition, people with a negative ego aren’t able to receive and accept criticism. This is because they think that everything they do is correct and that they never make mistakes. All in all, they’re arrogant and they’re always showing off their ego. Nevertheless, on many occasions, these attitudes are used mostly as a shield to hide their own weaknesses.
Children with big egos and children with healthy egos
It isn’t necessary to be an adult in order to show a big or negative ego. From an early age, children find themselves in situations when they’re able to show they have a big ego. And, instead of showing self-confidence, they’re quite arrogant and, if they’re not right about something, they become easily upset.
It’s very important for parents to control their child’s ego, and help them develop a positive one. In spite of what many parents think, a big ego relates more to a low self-esteem problem than to a high self-esteem one. Of course, it can be a defense mechanism to face fears and uncertainties.
Therefore, a healthy ego will help children stay motivated, and they’ll be able to learn from their own mistakes and accept other people’s criticisms. As a result, they’ll grow to identify themselves as special individuals, but they won’t feel better than the rest. Besides, they’ll be able to relate to other people without humiliating or looking down on them, for no particular reason.
In fact, humbleness and team spirit are two fundamental pillars for the development of a positive ego. And these qualities should be maintained whether children win or fail. Children with a healthy ego love achieving their goals and feeling praised, but they also enjoy the success of others.
“When the ego dies, the soul awakes”.
How to control your child’s ego
In order to control your child’s ego and help them to develop a positive one, it’s important to bear the following in mind:
- Teach your child the value of winning and losing. Help them accept and understand constructive criticism. In fact, constructive criticism can be a possibility or a tool to get what they want in the future.
- Promote team spirit and solidarity as a means to grow individually and as part of a group.
- Release your child from the pressure of having to be right all the time. Try to make them understand there are as many points of view as there are people in the world.
- Teach your child the value of success, but not to be competing with others or to win all the time. They need to be happy and feel good about themselves and about who they want to become.
- Base their education on the value of effort, perseverance, and responsibility as the only means to achieve their goals.
- Condemn superiority and humiliation attitudes, from your child and others.
- Finally, educate them by setting your own example. Remember that from humble parents come children with healthy egos.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Simón, V. M. (2001). El ego, la conciencia y las emociones: un modelo interactivo. Psicothema, 13(2), pp. 205-213. Recuperado de https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/727/72721305.pdf
- Olivo Sánchez, F. P. (2015). El ego y los mecanismos de defensa y su influencia en la función adaptativa de los niños de 5 a 6 años (Bachelor’s thesis, Universidad de Guayaquil Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación). Recuperado de http://repositorio.ug.edu.ec/bitstream/redug/14289/1/Olivo%20S%c3%a1nchez%2c%20Fanny.pdf
- GONZÁLEZ, G. P. C. (n.d.). EL DESARROLLO DEL EGO. SUS OCHO ETAPAS SEGÚN ERIK ERIKSON. Recuperado de http://files.uladech.edu.pe/docente/32906377/psicologia_del_desarrollo_enfermeria/sesion05/peccleculiacan_mazatlanpri_lec_21.pdf