How not to raise a narcissistic child
If you are keen to raise a child with healthy self-esteem instead of raising another narcissistic child, then make sure not to over-praise your child. Praising your child, when they deserve it, may be necessary to help them develop self-confidence and self-esteem, but overdoing is a recipe for raising a narcissistic child. By over-praising them, you are communicating that your love is conditional. They will only gain your acceptance and praise when their performance is outstanding. When they grow up, they become workaholics with the perfect career, perfect home and the perfect car. As they build a perfect life for themselves, they believe that they are better than others. But it takes a toll on their self-esteem and personal relationships.
So don’t tell your child that they are special or more deserving unless they truly are, which is rare. Be realistic and let them know that your love is not conditional. “Narcissistic children need to learn to connect rather than impress. Repeatedly telling them how unique and special they are playing into their tendency to crave and hog the limelight, as well as their anxiety and resentment when they’re not the star,” explains Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., an author, and clinical psychologist.
Show appreciation, teach kindness
Be kind, compassionate, and appreciative of your child and towards others as well. Teach your child to treat others with kindness and respect. Eddie Brummelman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam & Utrecht University, says “Perhaps we can develop a way to help parents convey affection and appreciation for a child without necessarily putting a child on a pedestal, without telling the child he is better than others.”
When you fail to teach your child basic manners and to be kind, then you raise a narcissistic child. Tell them that they have value, but so do other children. Tell them that they are unique, but so is each and every other child.