Recent survey reports that when parents innocently provide exaggerated support for their children in an effort to build self-confidence, they are actually raising levels of narcissism and damaging their children for life!
Does this mean the next generation could be a bunch of narcissistic brats who only care about themselves and lack empathy for others? Yikes!
Most parents I talk to want the best for their children. They want them to grow up and become spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy. In an effort to accomplish this, parents often try to provide a positive environment of support and value for their children. Nothing wrong with that! Right? Or have we gone too far? Are we are actually preparing our kids to handle reality or creating a new reality to handle our kids?
Although I’m no parenting expert, there are some biblical principles that play into this discussion. So in an effort to protect our kids and help parents avoid raising narcissistic brats, I thought I would share a couple of thoughts.
Help Your Kids To Embrace Failure & Not Avoid It
Failure is an important part of life. It teaches us many things about ourselves and others. It teaches us humility, hard work, empathy, forgiveness, and faith in God. In fact, success is that much more valuable when a prior failure has been handled in a balanced and responsible way. Even the Gospel starts with our failure and falling short of God’s standard of holiness.
I John 1:8-9 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Once failure is embraced, we can step forward in receiving God’s forgiveness and celebrate His wonderful gift! But it all starts with embracing failure and not avoiding it.
So don’t insulate your children from failure, don’t create an environment where they will always succeed. This is not real! Allow them the freedom to win or lose. It is important they experience both! And be sure not to redefine a loss as actually a win, because it isn’t. Don’t make everyone a winner, because they aren’t. When we do this, we are robbing our children the value of failure. Even though failure hurts and may bring tears, the lessons are deep and profound.
Help Your Kids To See the Value in Others
Dr. Bushman found in his study that “People with high self-esteem think they’re as good as others, whereas narcissists think they are better than others.” This is an interesting statistic in light of God’s word.
Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Love for others, valuing others, helping and caring for others is God’s primary focus throughout scripture. Narcissism, on the other hand, is the exact opposite and only values self. Therefore, it’s important for parents to help their children understand the importance of valuing others above themselves.
In order to do this, it should cost them something. It will take effort and sacrifice. For example, when they are going to a birthday party, have them take the time to pick out a gift and buy it with their own money. When parents simply buy the gift and sign their child’s name, it fosters a selfish and entitled attitude. Again, the goal is to help our kids get outside of themselves and to care for others in humble loving way.
Warning! Your children may challenge your attempts at helping them embrace failure or care for others. But remember you are protecting them and future generations from becoming narcissistic brats by doing your part as a parent today!
If you found this post helpful, be sure to share with others on the social media links below.
 http://psychcentral.com/news/2015/03/10/parental-role-in-developing-narcissistic-children/82151.html (Survey Conducted by Rick Nauert PHD)
 Dr. Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.