A recent study found that many parents are “too soft” on their kids, offering too much praise and not enough criticism, according to CNN’s Ruben Navarette.
This, according to researchers, can apparently lead to narcissism.
I think there’s definitely a certain amount of validity to the theory, but in my experience, there’s a more prominent group of narcissists who grew up thinking they weren’t good enough for whatever reason.
The researchers listed traits and experiences that contribute to narcissism: public schools that tolerate mediocrity; a nurturing culture where everyone gets a trophy; social media, where everyone with an opinion can share it; a celebrity and reality show culture that tells Americans anyone can be famous. At the top of the list though: parenting.
So what is the antidote to this epidemic of narcissism? In a word: balance. You can praise your kids, but always make sure what you’re praising is an actual achievement or accomplishment. Don’t just cheer them on for participating. They’ll get enough of that, along with a handful of ribbons, from playing school sports.
On the other side of that coin, don’t be afraid to set high expectations, demand that they be met, offer constructive criticism when necessary, and remind your children that contrary to what they may be hearing from marketers and the rest of society the world does not revolve around them.
Encourage them to think of the collective good, and not just focus on themselves as an individual. Remind them that, just as important as how they feel about themselves, is how other people feel about them. And, as often as possible, stress to them that while they shouldn’t let anyone look down on them they also have a duty not to look down on anyone else.
Oh, and you can skip the part where you tell them they’re special. Rest assured, across town, another parent is telling her child the exact same thing. So how “special” could either one of them really be?
Click below to read the full article on CNN’s website.
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See The Original Story on CNN’s website