“Helicopter” parenting – the term we now use to refer to overbearing/over-protective and often lenient parenting – has come under scrutiny recently. Allegedly, it has factored into a generation of kids who cannot cope with everyday problems. Over-praising your children may be the cause of a heightened sense of entitlement and potentially an inflated egos!
This is now causing serious consequences in childhood and throughout life. “…Narcissism is higher in Western than non-Western countries, and suggests that narcissism levels have been steadily increasing among Western youth over the past few decades,” according to the authors of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The social learning theory suggests that kids become more egocentric when their parents overvalue them – that is, when parents treat their kids as fundamentally more deserving than others. Or as Freud put it, when they “are under a compulsion to ascribe every perfection to the child.” In contrast, a psychoanalytic theory suggests that kids become narcissists when their parents withhold warmth – so the kids have to put themselves on a pedestal and seek approval elsewhere. Based on recent studies, telling children how exceptional they are doesn’t produce kids with good healthy self-esteem – it just makes them more egotistic.
“People with high self-esteem think they’re as good as others, whereas narcissists think they’re better than others,”
Telling your kids that they are better then others isn’t helping your kid but potentially hurting them.
• Narcissistic children feel superior to others. They’ll believe they are entitled to privileges, and crave for constant attention and praise from others
• When they fail to obtain attention and praise when they want, they may lash out aggressively
• Narcissistic individuals are also at increased risk to develop addiction
*** The solution is to be humble and give praise when really deserved ***
Here are some tips to raise a respectful and unpretentious child:
– Do not spoil them
– Do not dress your kids in all designer clothes, it tends to send the wrong about priorities and self image
– Do not indulge in their unreasonable requests (i.e. -if they want a new meal because they’re not satisfied with the one they have)
– Discipline your child when they act up – when they fight, bite and act like a bully
– Do not always take their side; introduce other perspectives on the situation in question to teach them a lesson
– Do not over-program your kid and leave no time for yourself
Time to change up my own parenting style!