Egocentrism in Children
Egocentrism; It is defined as the tendency to base everything on itself, to base itself in everything, and to take one’s own idea, logic and emotion as the starting point, example, measure and center. It is one of the developmental features that can be encountered in children in the preschool period. Many normal developmental features observed in children during this period may not be considered normal when observed in adolescence or adulthood.
Egocentrism in the preschool period is mainly observed in two areas: language and thought. Egocentric speech is the speech of children, which is often observed between the ages of three and four and is constructed on the word “I”. Egocentric thinking is defined as the child’s difficulty in taking the perspective of the other. From this definition, it should not be concluded that the child cannot see the events from another’s point of view, but rather it should be understood that it is very difficult for the child to handle a situation from more than one point of view at the same time.
The egocentrism trait can be socially challenging to the adults around because the child tends to approach most social situations only from their own perspective. For this reason, children in this age group should be introduced to a certain aspect of a situation each time, and the child should be given the opportunity to control the situation and examine it systematically.
Preschoolers cannot see things from someone else’s point of view, they cannot imagine different points of view. The child cannot think that a person in front of him can look at an object or an event from a different point of view, and that different perspectives can have different perceptual and intellectual results. The child’s way of speaking and expression are also under the influence of his egocentrism. (My expressions are frequently observed. Especially for toys.)
Egocentrism is not selfishness, but the child’s self-understanding of events or the child’s self-centered understanding of events. Egocentrism underlies the young child’s limited thinking capacity. Egocentrism is also a form of focusing attention. Young children are so focused on their own point of view that they cannot simultaneously understand another’s point of view. These inadequacies of children prevent them from distinguishing between what is real and what is going on in their minds. They also get confused in the cause-effect relationship.
Explain to your child that not everything can belong to him, make it clear that some things belong to him, get permission to take things that belong to your child, teach him to respect other people’s belongings, set a special area for his belongings, have toys for your child’s friends, help him protect his belongings.