Not only are we making our kids materialistic, it seems we may also be turning them into narcissists. (Geeze, can’t we get anything right?!)
A new study published in the journal PNAS found a direct correlation between narcissism in children and parents who overvalue them. 565 kids between the ages 7 and 12, along with their parents, were interviewed every six months for 18 months.
The children has to rate how much they agreed with statements such as “I am a great example for other kids to follow” and “I am very good at making other people believe what I want them to believe.” The parents were presented with a different set of questions including, “I would find it disappointing if my child was just a ‘regular’ child” and “my child deserves special treatment.”
Basically the research found that parents who think their kids are better and are more deserving than others pass these feelings onto the kids themselves. This, in turn, makes those kids feel superior to others.
Now there is nothing wrong with praising your child; we all do it, we probably always will. But it is all about moderation.
A great example of how to balance praise with reality is provided below.
Note: we don’t actually believe Jimmy Kimmel’s sketch is the best way to praise your child while keeping their grip on reality… we just thought it was funny!