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Maleth
14-03-15, 13:46
I found this study quite interesting and well conducted too. Its about the parents role in creating the right balance between Narcissism and Self esteem in Children. Unfortunately I don't think that one can get access to the whole study (for free) but there is a good summary about it in the link below.

Basically the study found that the parents attitude has alot to do with how their children behave in later life in regards to Narcissism (which is deemed as a negative personality trait) visa vi Self esteem which is an essential one. Even thou low esteem has not been mentioned as part of the study, I am sure it will also be automatically relevant to the subject.

What are your views on this?

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/03/05/1420870112.abstract

Angela
14-03-15, 16:06
Without access to the study I don't know what measures were used and what controls were set up, so it's difficult to assess the validity of their results. I can only go by my own anecdotal experience, and from that I would say that parents today are totally doing their children a disservice by all this praise and overindulgence. It creates not only narcissism, in my opinion, but perhaps counter-intuitively a nagging sense of insecurity because deep down inside reality must tell them some of this praise isn't deserved.

I'll give you an example. Self-esteem "classes" were actually part of the curriculum in my area, classes where parents were also supposed to read these booklets written by well meaning but obviously clue less educators. The entire premise was wrong, in my opinion. You can't teach self-esteem. Children acquire it when they are valued and loved for who they are, not because they flatter the ego of their parents by their accomplishments in the academic or sports world.

Plus, all the praise in the world is not going to make a child feel good about a "C" on a test, or the fact that they are benched all the time during games. Nor does it help to get rid of grades or let everyone play during a game or give every child a trophy. Deep down inside most children know when they're bad at something, and this sort of thing just makes them more insecure, in my opinion. The ones who do buy into this parental over-valuation wind up with even more serious problems, in my opinion, ranging from problems at work to social issues sometimes verging on sociopathology.

Children have to learn their strengths and weaknesses and come to grips with them. Most importantly, they have to know that they are valuable human beings worthy of respect regardless of any of these external measures. Certain religions used to teach this. In our modern world it's up to parents. Overpraise won't do it, but unconditional love will. All I ever really wanted of my children was for them to be compassionate and kind and to have integrity. I also desperately wanted and want for them to be healthy and happy, but unfortunately these latter things I can't control. The former I did my best to teach them.

Aberdeen
14-03-15, 16:39
So perhaps children are a lot smarter and more perceptive than some people think, and we should temper encouragement and praise with honesty if we want children to believe what we say. But I think a modern problem that's even worse than too much positive reinforcement is a lack of structure and rules. IMO, children are like dogs in that they're happiest and most secure when they are given strong, confident leadership by adults who are mature enough to be in control without having to resort to violence or threats. That can be a very difficult thing for parents to achieve, but I think it's essential.

Maleth
14-03-15, 19:15
I agree with both view points. I would like to add that the study states that children have been monitored between the ages of 7 and 12. Interacting with a wider world with less family protection or parental influence (so to speak) in later stages I consider to be the second lesson in social skills (populary called the lessons of life) and very often (at least from my experience) can notice behavior changes through some rude awakenings or also positive encounters as it happens, depending on the circumstances.

At this stage this is a crucial time for parents to realise that commutation skills with the children need to change to a different level which often I have noticed that they do not and the children seem to drift into a world of their own. This can cause a double personality type of life. What I am trying to say I firmly believe that traits that are (learned) seen in children between the ages of 7 and 12 do not necessarily transpire into adulthood. Then on the other hand there is the issue that we seem to put all parents in an equal setting. Some parents might have their own issues with narcissism so solutions and skills will have different interpretations and consider certain behaviors as appropriate and normal. Its an issue like so many others, what defines what

hope
15-03-15, 22:47
There is an actual disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, with an increase in those being diagnosed as having this. I don`t think that is what this particular study is referring to[?] In any case I don`t think lack of parental warmth plays as big a role as compared to social learning.

I think it is entirely possible a number of children can have an over inflated ego and feeling of self importance, especially in to-days culture. It seems more children want a fast track to stardom and there is no shortage of parents pushing them forward, convinced of their obvious talents and uniqueness.
If a child is constantly elevated, made to believe they are uber wonderful [ which they are but I hope you get my meaning] then of course they will start to believe and play the part, why would they not since their trusted caregiver has enforced this idea.
However, I find this state of inflated ego usually calms down as a child gets older. Peer groups can be a good way by which a child often self evaluates..unless of course their group is full of similar ego inflated children..whereby the idea could be enforced...:startled:

I believe it is absolutely correct to build up your childs self esteem, their self worth. I do also think where there is a weakness, it is best to use gentle honesty, as Aberdeen has said, and to work with your child to help strengthen the weakness. Praising a child is good, as far as I am concerned, all children benefit from praise.

Give a child love and security, teach them lessons they can and hopefully will take on into the world..such as respect for themselves and others, accepting responsibility, encourage empathy etc. You can [and should] make them aware of their value as a person..albeit a little person...without promoting ideas of being a supreme being.

Maleth
06-04-15, 20:39
Give a child love and security, teach them lessons they can and hopefully will take on into the world..such as respect for themselves and others, accepting responsibility, encourage empathy etc. You can [and should] make them aware of their value as a person..albeit a little person...without promoting ideas of being a supreme being.

From my experience, I believe the last sentence is of utmost importance, it makes a big difference in the childs attitude towards others and in my opinion it can be parent induced in many instances The parents themselves feel it is totally proper and correct to promote these ideas (maybe also in relation to their personal issues that would ultimately reflect on their own children). This would create some challenges (difficulties) when the children move to less protective scenarios as they grow older.

hope
07-04-15, 01:29
From my experience, I believe the last sentence is of utmost importance, it makes a big difference in the childs attitude towards others and in my opinion it can be parent induced in many instances The parents themselves feel it is totally proper and correct to promote these ideas (maybe also in relation to their personal issues that would ultimately reflect on their own children). This would create some challenges (difficulties) when the children move to less protective scenarios as they grow older.
I agree, Maleth. Those who over elevate, over praise a child, put it always in the spotlight and over emphasize how fantastic, clever, pretty and extra special it is, will likely create a child who believes just that. This does no good for the child when, as you say, it enters the big world expecting everyone to likewise be totally fascinated by them and feeling they should be treated in a certain way, believing they deserve it. It is a false image. A child should have a realistic view..

It will certainly create difficulties in the future and many who are of such thinking, find themselves very often excluded.

Certainly all sorts of opinions may be promoted by caregivers, not all of them good. They may do this directly or indirectly. These could be regarding any number of things. Apart from that being discussed here, I think relaying the opinion that our belief, our group etc is in some way superior to other groups, views, beliefs etc and lack of empathy..can be dangerous ones to teach.