Why You Shouldn’t Over-Inflate Your Kid’s Ego?
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Yes, there is no denying that your child means the world to you but do you really think that over-loving him will do any good to him? You’re not a mean mom or dad when you give a dose of reality to your kid. The reality is that you’ll only be fostering his narcissistic side ultimately giving out an egoistic individual to the world.
According to a research at Ohio State University, kids who are overvalued are at a higher risk of having an inflated ego. “If a parent constantly praises a child’s work, that child may become a praise junkie and constantly looking for affirmation and validation from others,” says psychologist Sara Dimerman.
She further says that eventually, such children will resent all those who don’t have any wonderful things to say about them.
The Origin of Narcissistic Values in Children
Narcissism levels have seen a significant increase especially among the Western youth and there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason behind it. However, it has dramatically contributed to amplified violence and aggression in the society.
There are two major perspectives on the development of an inflated ego in children. These are:
- Over-valuation by the parents (social learning theory)
- Lack of parental warmth (psychoanalytic theory)
Numerous researches have been conducted in this regard with the most authentic ones carried out by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). According to their results, it is the social learning theory which is the root cause of narcissism in children whereas the psychoanalytic theory is almost non-existent. As a matter of fact, children tend to have lower self-esteem and confidence who haven’t been subjected to enough warmth by their parents.
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder
One estimate suggests that around 6% of the US population has the narcissistic personality disorder. It is more common in men as compared to the women and forms its roots during childhood. These individuals are extremely resistant to treatment and may cause harm to any person. They give rise to chaotic situations and can go to any extent to fulfill the demands of their ego and desires.
It is natural for small children to be selfish and not being able to understand the needs of other people. As they become teenagers, they are still thinking more about themselves than others because they are striving for an identity and independence. As children grow into adults, their levels of self-centeredness should gradually decline to make them compassionate and to care about others.
Narcissism is toxic to people and situations except for their inner circle of support who are unhurt as long as they blindly keep supporting their agenda. Narcissists make the lives of other individuals miserable and are aggressive towards people who don’t show agreement, respect, or admiration to them and their opinions.
Signs of a Narcissist
If you are worried about not raising a narcissist and would do anything not to over-inflate the ego of your child, you need to observe the habits and mannerisms of your child. Only after picking up the signs of narcissism, you will be able to do something for him.
- There is a persistent pattern of bullying in their behavior like making fun of others, threatening, and degrading all those who are weak or inferior to them in any way.
- They are only inclined to win and it does not matter to them who gets hurt on their way.
- They are liars and would say anything just to show their superiority or to get out of a situation.
- Their view of themselves and their self-worth is inappropriately high.
- They are always preoccupied with their own needs and no one else matters to them.
- They believe that they are always inclined to special treatment and getting everything their way irrespective of the circumstances.
- Others are prone to aggressive responses from them when criticized or disagreed.
- They are competitive as compared to being cooperative.
- Repetitively blaming others for the things gone wrong and for bad outcomes.
How to Maintain a Balance of Your Child’s Ego
If you feel that your child is on his way to becoming a narcissist, you can do the following things to save him, your family, and the society on the whole:
- Teach compassion, kindness, and empathy to them.
- They should value traits like honesty and kindness over everything else.
- Squelch greed and selfishness out of them.
- Insist that they should always put other people first and you must show them with your own actions and attitude.
- Build a healthy self-esteem in them.
- Never allow them to blame others for their failures or problems.
It is a well-known fact that raising a child is not a piece of cake and requires a lot of dedication, commitment, patience, and strength of character from parents. But, in the end, giving a great human being to the society is something anyone would be proud of. These helpful parenting resources will come in handy and will help you to raise a confident and well-rounded kid. So, start working on the character development of your child and never let him be overshadowed by his ego.