Helicopter parenting, along with other forms of over-parenting, have come under considerable criticism in recent years for creating a generation of kids who can’t problem-solve for themselves. Now, a related parenting behavior – “overvaluing” one’s kids – has come under similar fire: But here, for creating narcissists-in-the-making. A new study from The Ohio State University suggests that constant – and perhaps undue – praise for our kids’ tiniest accomplishments, or non-accomplishments, may have the unintended side-effect of creating an over-inflated ego. And this can have serious consequences both in childhood and later on in life.
“Research shows that narcissism is higher in Western than non-Western countries, and suggests that narcissism levels have been steadily increasing among Western youth over the past few decades,” the authors write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This is something I’ve been railing about for years (I wrote an ebook about it) and my feelings about it has just been reinforced while raising my teenage daughter. When childhood is spent being rewarded for nothing, adulthood can be a bit difficult to navigate. There seems to be no balance between avoiding damage to children’s psyches and coddling them to the point of inducing neuroses. Yes, psychotic, screaming parents at sporting events are awful, but last Saturday I saw pre-season parade for a Little League, celebrating merely getting through the registration process, I guess.
Narcissism is at the core of progressivism. The sense of entitlement inherent in leftist ideology is being nurtured in public schools that decades ago began prioritizing feelings over achievement.
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