Too Much Praise Can Turn Your Kids into Narcissistic Jerks

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Convincing your child that they are special amongst their peers may risk turning them into a narcissist, with feelings of superiority and self-satisfaction, according to an ABC News

Narcissistic individuals think they’re better than everyone else, expect exceptional treatment, and live for personal success, explained the study’s authors in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. When these kinds of individuals experience failure, they can be violent, and they are not pleasant to be around.

The individuals whose parents consistently convinced them they were superior to other children scored higher on measurements for narcissism compared to the kids who were given a more realistic view of themselves, found the investigators.

“That is because over-praising children can lead them to believe they are special people who deserve special treatment all the time.”- claimed Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

As parents, you should be warm and loving, and you should not give your child blanket praise. You should not boost self-esteem and hope your children will behave well, but you should praise your children after they do well.

The executive director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds has shown some doubts about the study’s conclusion. He said that parents are just one influence on a child. Others who influence how a child feels about themselves and how they behave towards others are teachers, peers, siblings, and many others. He also argued that the age of the children used in the study was inadequate to test subjects, and the American children are not the same as Dutch children.

Beresin also argued about parents who build a bond of trust with their children by giving them honest feedback mixed with encouragement and support help build a child’s self-esteem and security.  As long as it’s accurate and appropriate, can help boost a child’s self-worth.

However, the investigators said their work builds on a larger body of research that shows parental “overvaluation” can lead children to develop narcissism later in life because children tend to see themselves just as the important people in their lives see them.

The researchers said previous work shows that cultivating an unreasonably confident view of self is at the core of narcissism, and they didn’t rule out the effects of other influences, like genetics.

Source: ABC News

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