Sandy Hotchkiss

7 Tips to Keep Your Child From Being Self-Absorbed 4

Here are 2 more tips to add onto our list for this week's blog: 6.  Sex is natural, and children should not be made to feel shameful about their sexuality by adults behaving in “repressed” ways. As a parent you cannot fully protect your child from sexual over-stimulation, but your willingness to try creates a boundary that the child internalizes as a self-protective barrier. Monitoring what your children are watching on TV & movies, what sites they visit on the internet and what texts they receive on their phones will help them understand this barrier. Parents need to model adult love and affection and answer questions about sex in a straightforward manner that is age appropriate for the child to understand.

7.  The way to build self-esteem is to tell children how “special” they are. Children shouldn’t have to accomplish anything in order to believe in themselves and they should be spared the harmful effects of competition. Competence, confidence and self-esteem come from taking the risk of trying something and finding out what you really can do. You get the experience of mastery that becomes a part of how you see yourself. If you don’t make a child accomplish anything or spare them from the effects of competition, then you are taking away self-esteem building opportunities. If stumbling or failure happens, then it’s more learning that a child gets to do and helps them become stronger and more realistic about themselves and what they are actually capable of doing. Not everyone can be good at everything, and helping your child figure out what skills they possess is key to forming a positive identity.

We hope you have found this weeks blog helpful.  Check back next week, when we will be presenting book recommendations!

Adopted from: "Why is it Always About You?" by Sandy Hotchkiss

7 Tips to Keep Your Child from being Self-Absorbed 3

I know there are many fears that come with parenting. When we think about what our children will become when they grow up, our minds can wander in a million different directions- both positive and negative. For me and my husband, one of our huge fears is our children becoming self-absorbed. We have both seen the negative effects of this and how it not only effects the family but our world. I have found the tips we are discussing this week to be very helpful in raising our children. I must caution you: it is difficult for many people to understand this. They want to have children that are not full of themselves, however, they want to keep it easy on themselves as parents. I want to let you know- THIS IS DIFFICULT! But it is so worth it! Here are 2 more tips- 4. Children need freedom of expression. There's no use in trying to stop problem behavior by being authoritarian, that just alienates kids by shaming them. No one likes to be the bad guy, however, children need boundaries. It is imperative they receive a parent's input as they're growing up and it is necessary to have their bubble burst when they're acting too selfishly. Children also benefit from strong, nurturing parents who can serve as models. They desire positive, gentle corrective feedback. They also need a parent to practice what they preach and show the child what they believe to be right from wrong. Not only does this help a child develop a conscience, it also gives them someone to admire.

5. Empathy for a child is the same as treating him/her as a friend, sharing all my feelings and "modeling" closeness. Children need to know the truth about their parents at all times. Good parental boundaries mean not treating a child as a friend, confidant, or confessing things to them. This may make a child feel "special", but this is a wrong kind of special. It gives the message to the child that they are an equal and this will then blur the parent-child roles. This behavior often results in children who have little to no respect for authority, whether it is the parent's authority or that of any other adult.

Tomorrow Joleen will discuss 2 more things to avoid. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

Adapted by Sandy Hotchkiss,

    Why Is it Always about You?

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.

7 Tips to Keep Your Child from Being Self-Absorbed 2

About 8 years ago, a Roper National Youth Survey was done asking teens what they thought was wrong with America. Some of their answers were: Selfishness/people not thinking of the rights of others & lack of parental discipline of children and teens. Sandy Hotchkiss, whom this week's blog is taken from, sites more of the survey in her book, Why is it Always About You? Even our teens are noticing how skewed the country is getting, and the teens are attributing some of it to parenting! See if you hold any of these beliefs and take these tips to heart. 2. My child should never suffer. (If my child is unhappy, I am a bad parent.) Failure is always a negative experience and should be avoided at all costs. Suffering is part of being human unfortunately, and we would like to shield everyone we love from suffering, especially our children. Sometimes suffering can be as large as death or illness, or on a smaller scale such as losing a competition or not getting the gift you wanted for your birthday. If a parent jumps through hoops to make sure a child never feels the pain for a failure or suffering, then they are taking away that opportunity for that child to (a) build character, (b) figure out how to handle stressful times, and (c) figure out how to handle feelings such as anger, sadness, envy, guilt, loneliness, disappointment, etc... Children need real-life experiences so they can grow up in a real-life world and know how to function in it.

3. What is good for me is good for my child. This is not always necessarily true. This phrase does not address the fact the child is separate from the parent. A child is their own unique individual with their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Whether it's a parent's decision to divorce, re-marry, date, move, etc.... this belief of "what's best for me will be best for them" will not apply. Sometimes these life choices are necessary and unavoidable. However, children have separate needs and separate interests.

As always, we hope this is getting your wheels to start spinning! There are several more tips for the rest of the week. Check back in & as always, thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.