Our Blog

Teaching Humility in Children

Monday, November 27th, 2023

by Samantha Booth, Counseling Intern


Arrogance is more than bragging about accomplishments and comparing possessions and achievements to others.  It is an attitude of superiority or for children it's an "I am better than you."  mentality.  This trend can sometimes be attributed to an over competitive, materialistic, and praise-dependent culture. Not only is arrogance unbecoming, it also makes it difficult for children to have long-lasting friendships. The good news is that kids can learn to curb their arrogance, and the caring adults in their lives can show them how.  

I think it's important to state that we don't want to belittle any child's talent or skills.  The issue isn't about what a kid can do or how they look.  It's more about the preoccupation with being center stage, making sure everyone knows just how great they are.  A child's self-worth should not be contingent upon earning approval or accolades from others.  The best sense of self comes from inside with a child having a sense of pride and confidence in accomplishing something for the simple joy of doing it on their own.

Here are some ways to negate a boastful attitude and teach humility:

1.  Help kids recognize the impact their attitude has on others.  Make observations of humility and empathy you see in other people to your child as well as modeling those traits yourself.

2.  Focus more on character, not just performance.  Help your child to be more understanding and accepting of their own strengths and weaknesses.

3. Encourage your child to look for the good in others and make efforts to compliment peers on their skills, strengths, and talents. 

4.  Reinforce humility and acts of kindness.  Challenge bragging by commending personal displays of humility, kindness, and generosity toward others.

5.  When praised, remind your child to say thank you after someone compliments them.

We have competent and caring therapists in all four of our locations: River Counseling Services in Platte, Sioux Falls Psychological Services, and Stronghold Counseling Services in Sioux Falls and in Yankton -who will meet you where you are, offering hope.

That is our mission. You may schedule an appointment at the Platte office at 605-337-3444 or meet with one of our Sioux Falls or Yankton based therapists from your computer, smartphone, or in person at any of our clinics. To schedule an appointment, please call 605-334-2696.