Did you notice that if you were to look at your pictures from about 20 years back, there would NOT be a single photo of yourself taking a selfie? However, in this new era, our children are selfie experts.

With the introduction of the reverse camera function in our mobile phones, we can now take pictures of ourselves instantly without the help of anyone else, and do other fun stuff like make Tik-Tok videos.

As the world continues to move in this fast paced manner of instant gratification, it is no wonder that people are getting more and more independent and self-absorbed. There is very little need for help from others these days and very little need to wait.

With this, children are being raised in egocentric ways now more than ever. If they’re bored, they can be easily entertained with YouTube or an online game. If they want something, you can order it online and get it speedily delivered. It’s very natural for these kids to be self-absorbed.

How children become self-centred

No parent would ever want their children to be spoilt or self-centred. However, it happens easily to any good parent; parents who try very hard to give their children a happy and full childhood. Out of unconditional love for a child, a parent would want to provide for every need or want of a child.
In the Parenting Toolbox Course by Heroes Headquarters, this especially happens to the “Jellyfish” parents.

Jellyfish parents may:

  • Prioritise child’s needs over self and spouse
  • Accommodate all of child’s requests
  • Rescue child from consequences
  • Give too much too early

Any of us can have some Jellyfish parent traits in us if we just want the house to be happy and peaceful. When we are pressed for time, and need to get things done, it’s easier to give in to the whims and fancies of the child. Sometimes, we feel it takes too much time and effort to explain why they should not have a certain thing.

It’s way easier to pass the device over, or to purchase the latest thing that all their friends have, than to deal with their complaints and whining. Anyone of us could fall into this parenting trap for the price of “peace”.

The problem is that this usually results in a child that will grow up with unhealthy traits connected to materialism, unhappiness, lack of self-control and self-centredness. The reason for that is because they are so used to always getting what they want, and whenever they want. They never have to think about anybody else but themselves.

It’s not that they want to, but it’s because they have been conditioned to. Deep inside every child, there’s a compassionate person that just needs to be guided and steered in the right way.

Parenting Tips

So, how do we tighten the reins so that our children don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everything revolves around them?

1. Set up rules and structures that will serve to help them grow.

Photo by nicontents . on Unsplash

For example: No devices until homework and chores have been done. Usage of device beyond timing given is strictly not allowed. Consequences for violation of rules will be firmly and kindly enforced.

2. Listen but don’t give in when they’re disappointed.

Photo by Monstera from Pexels

For example: If the child didn’t get what he was hoping to get, we need to resist the urge to fix the issue. We need to hear his feelings, be there for him, but we are not to take the feelings away or fix it up for him. We can however, guide him to thinking of a solution.

3. Let them wait. Delay gratifications.

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

For example: If there is something that the child really wants, it’s ok to let them wait for it, although it’s so easy to buy it online. Ensure that they know why they really want it, and how it will be used and taken care of. They need to first prove they are responsible enough to have it. Proof can be in the form of having homework and chores done. This way, they will appreciate what they are getting more because they had worked hard and waited for it.

4. Create platforms for them to use their skills to make the world a better place.

Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

For example: Anna from Toddler Tyme engages her son’s help to tell stories to children. (If you have children below 5 years of age, you can check it out here, it’s quite endearing.) When we see our child developing an interest, we can help them think about how they can use it to make someone’s day. This will open their eyes to see needs around them and encourages them to be a channel of difference.

In a world that is pushing ahead for more independence and self-absorption, I believe that these little loving acts can help our children swim against the current and make a positive impact in the future.


Featured image by Julia M Cameron from Pexels



Luisa is an ICF Certified Coach and an advocate for building up families and believes that they are the key to strong societies and eventually a strong nation. With a desire to see married women live fulfilled lives and have a fulfilling marriage, she co-founded Oasis by Comma and contributes her thoughts here at  Comma: Rethink Life. 

Luisa and her husband are also founders of Heroes Headquarters – a platform that provides family enrichment programmes, parenting courses and family coaching services to those in their community.

Her favourite pastime includes taking walks with her husband at the neighbourhood park while having deep conversations, or coming up with fun activities such as cooking or art projects to engage with her teen and younger kids. She hopes to share with others that you don’t have to be a super person to be a hero to your family. All it requires is love, commitment and a workable plan.

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