"When you do it right...or as near to "right" as you can, your child will know that they are precious to you, and, as they become conscious of other children around them whose parents are NOT doing it "as rightly" as you, they will come to appreciate you. And they will begin to repay that love with their own. Almost overnight, they will become less selfish, they will ask you how YOU are doing, they will bring YOU something from the store, they will grab YOUR hand. They will tell you that they love YOU, first. That is the point when you realize, among other things:
1) At least you are doing ONE thing sort of correctly
2) Kids do become less selfish as they grow older
3) You need your child at least as much as she or he needs you
This leads me to a funny exchange. Yesterday, my animal loving daughter once again began her apeal to let her have a cat. In fact, she offered to pay me $6 for the priviledge. She even knows which one she wants. I said "no." (I will forever and always say no...there are many good reasons other than that I don't like the smell of kitty litter, like, my wife AND that same daughter are very allergic to cats.)
Although she KNEW I would say no as I have every other time, she started to get herself worked up over it. I started to simply reflect how much I knew she wanted one and that I knew she was disappointed. Finally she stopped asking and stated simply that I had "just lost 50 points."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well last night you told Mommy you had just earned points for letting me have desert" she replys.
"So I just lost 50? How many did I have?" I begged.
"5" and we laughed and laughed.