Narcissists are created, not born.
Studies have shown that narcissism is on the rise, and it’s actually something that’s really terrifying if you think about it. It suggests that people are actually getting conditioned into becoming more narcissistic, and that means that healthy relationships will become increasingly rare.
If you want your child to have a shot at a healthy relationship, make sure that you do these things to help prevent narcissism.
1. Don’t make your kid the center of the universe.
Yes, we know you love your kid, but they need to learn that there are other people around them with feelings. By making sure that they aren’t getting used to being everyone’s focus, you’re teaching them to be considerate of other people and that everyone is equally important.
2. When your kid is mean to another kid, ask them how they’d feel or explain to them what their consequences will be.
Narcissists often will just do things because they feel they’re entitled to do them. Once again, you have to show your kid that being mean and being manipulative isn’t going to win them any friends and that those kids are hurting because of their actions.
3. Let your kid fail once in a while.
Ever notice how kids who always have parents battle teachers over grades tend to have narcissistic qualities? That’s because insisting on special treatment for your kid tends to make them think that they’re entitled to special treatment all the time. Teaching them how to deal with failure and frustration is one of the easiest ways to avoid narcissism and burnout.
4. Focus on connections rather than impressions.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your kid doesn’t turn into a narcissist is to focus on real friendships and real connections instead of just having them hog the limelight. When they have real friends and a real bond with people, they will be much less likely to feel a lack of self-esteem and will be much less likely to act like a narcissist.
5. Learn to say “no.”
Kids need to learn boundaries, and that means you need to tell them that they’re not getting their way once in a while. Surprise! Having boundaries makes kids less likely to be narcissists.
6. Focus on warmth rather than praise.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned lately, it’s that too much praise tends to lead to narcissistic behavior. It makes people think they deserve more than they do, and at the same time, it actually tends to decrease self-esteem. Warmth, on the other hand, tends to be more reassuring.
7. Teach them love isn't the same as approval.
Narcissists often don’t realize this and tend to take approval as better than love. You need to teach them the difference and explain that approval is fleeting.