A new study – carried out by Eddie Brummelman and colleagues at the University of Amsterdam – suggests that the constant praising of our children’s smallest accomplishments may have the unintended side effect of creating over-inflated egos.
The study evaluated more than 560 children between the ages of seven and 11 over 18 months. It found that parental overvaluation was the largest cause of narcissism in a child, but did not necessarily provide them with good self-esteem.
So, while we think that telling our children they’re fantastic all the time is building up their confidence, it doesn’t necessarily have that effect.
“People with high self-esteem think they’re as good as others, whereas narcissists think they’re better than others,” said Brad Bushman, the co-author of the study.
“Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others. That may not be good for them or for society.”
Parents need to be careful. Raising a child who thinks they are superior to others and believes they deserve special treatment can have serious consequences, both in childhood and later on in life…
Why overpraising may be responsible for a generation of narcissistic children – Independent.ie
March 20, 2015