No one likes to be around a narcissist. I can’t sugarcoat it.
Yes, there is nothing wrong with letting your kids know how special they are. In fact, every parent should encourage their kids to chase their dreams, but it should be done without making them a narcissistic jerk.
I’m not a fan of kids. Some of my friends don’t believe it, but it is true. One of the main reasons is that I have always found myself surrounded by kids who can’t talk about anything else except themselves. If your kid is becoming self-obsessed, you should definitely make an effort to bring a positive change in their behavior. Don’t let them turn into a narcissistic adult, as it would sabotage their whole life.
I’m not an expert on kids or even parenting, but I do know how a child should be raised. Have a look at these suggestions, and let me know if I’m wrong.
1. Don’t (over) praise them
It is okay to let them know how good they are. In fact, a little praise can certainly boost their morale and they might end up improving themselves, but there is always a limit. Stop comparing them with anyone else or demean someone else’s kid only to make your little one feel superior.
They won’t feel superior. Instead, they would be full of self-loathing. If you know they lack something, let them know about it in a subtle way. Be their guide – their teacher. Don’t just put a blindfold on your eyes and suffer from a “my-kid-is-the-best” virus. Trust me, it’s quite deadly.
2. Don’t over exaggerate stuff
As a parent, it is your job to teach your kid the difference between right and wrong. It is the time when they would develop a conscious and will follow your lead. If your kid has done something exceptionally brilliant or even failed trying hard, don’t overdo it. Even if you have walked an extra mile to make them happy, don’t make a big deal about it. It is a part of your job to take care of their needs.
For instance, if your kid has painted something, don’t tag them as “a little Picasso”. Don’t compare them with a celebrity or a known figure. This will make them idealize someone else in more ways than you can think of. Keep it real instead. Make it more about them and less about your own perception of them.
3. It can be genetic
Yes. As unbelievable as it might sound, narcissism can travel from one generation to another. If you and your partner are narcissists, chances are that the two of you are going to give birth to a self-obsessed kid. Also, during the embryonic development of your little one, stress and tension can cause negative traits on your fetus’s psychological behavior. The best way to overcome it is by having a healthy and fruitful environment around you.
4. Lack of parental empathy
This is just the opposite side of over-praising your kids. It is all about maintaining a perfect balance while raising your little one. If you will show a lack of attachment or will start taking them for granted, they might come up with some or other thing to seek your attention. They would throw tantrums and will try to make their presence count. Needless to say, it won’t be good for their overall development.
5. Being materialistic
It has been observed that materialism often results in developing a narcissistic attitude. Teach your kids the importance of people instead of things. Let them know that unlike things, people can’t be replaced. Help them to set priorities in their life, so that they can have a productive upbringing.
6. Stop judging people
When you judge someone, not only you pinpoint a flaw in them, you depict your imperfections as well. Your kid might reciprocate your behavior and will consider themselves superior to everyone else. They would develop a habit of judging everyone around them and will soon concentrate on someone else’s flaws instead of seeing the good in them.
7. Don’t be a bad influence
Kids look up to their parents. It is a universal fact. The overall development of their mind depends on your behavior. Be open and talk to them. Answer their questions and don’t let them be surrounded by their own perceptions. Try to be more diverse and never let them believe that they can’t be friends with someone because they belong to a certain race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other group.
Only you can make your little one a responsible citizen of this world. You have been given this rare chance of creating someone’s life. You should definitely utilize it in the right way. If you do it right, not only will you end up changing your kid’s life, but can give your own a whole new perspective as well.