Narcissism is defined as the excessive interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. Vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, conceit, self-centeredness. Many think that the number of narcissistic children in western civilization is rising. I have created this handy dandy list for you to reference and see if certain things you are doing on the parenting front could be contributing to your child becoming narcissistic. Using this list I was able to even find some points where I may be going slightly astray (and we know how perfect I am!) Without further ado here is my list of 7 signs that you’re making your child(ren) Narcissistic.
You lead your child to believe they are infallible.
This can be done by over praising. Putting your child on a pedestal is easy to do because you created them, but acknowledging faults is human. It’s a healthy thing to be able to see that everyone has weaknesses.
You compare your child to other kids and tell them how they measure up.
Around age 7 or 8 kids start to compare themselves to others. It’s important that you aren’t putting undue pressure on them to be better then their peers at everything. Don’t compare to Mikey and tell them where he comes up short.
You view affection as something to be earned and therefore show little warmth.
This could be difficult to recognize in yourself I suppose, but if you are only hugging after a job well done or for specifics tasks completed. There is a difference in affection and appreciation versus making your child feel like they are better than others. You can love your child and think they hang the moon, but you don’t have to put down or take anything away from anyone else to do that.
You model behaviors such as inability to hear criticism.
We all know that one adult who can’t bear to hear that they are wrong. That can’t take any type of reply to their ideas or opinions other than “yep,” Don’t be that adult. You are better than that, and your child needs you to be better than that.
You Excessively Brag and Make Excuses for Your Child
Can we be honest here? You should be proud of your kid. Your kid probably does something fantastic stuff that mine can’t do. However it’s ok too if your child messes up. In fact it’s better if they mess up while they are children, so they learn to handle that. If you make excuses for their behaviors instead of showing them how to deal with not being perfect- you are missing out a learning opportunity for the child. And as it turns out you may be raising a narcissist.
You Speak Badly of Anyone That is “Different” in Front of Your Child
This one is trickier and trickier it seems. In a time when we are so enlightened it seems that everyone feels shamed for their views. There is a difference in pointing out how you disagree with a religion/belief system and trying to prove you are superior to it. Expressing superiority in regards to age/race/gender/sexual preference – gosh, just please don’t do that. Let’s be past that in this generation, okay?
You Recognize Narcissistic Traits in Yourself and Don’t Take Steps To Get Better
There is a hereditary component to narcissism. There are personality traits that is a person is born with. However if you feel like you have some traits that fall into the Narcissistic column and you don’t get some help before having a kid… it may be time to re-evaluate now. Some day when you are in the old folks’ home and your grown-up child is too wrapped up in him/herself to visit you, you will possibly regret not taking some time to work on these things now.
If you are interested in more information on this that is less opinion and more scientific please go to this link to find what the Washington Post wrote about the subject. I found it extremely interesting and well written.