Viewing entries posted in April 2016

What (really) is narcissism? The myth of the over-valued child.

Posted on April 04, 2016 | 0 comment(s)

Many people are writing and talking about narcissism these days. What worries me the most is that the rhetoric coming from some psychologists and parent educators is inconsistent with what we know about child development and attachment. The inaccurate conceptualization goes something like this: narcissism comes from parents overvaluing children or putting them on a pedestal. Many point to such practices as handing out participation trophies as examples of how we coddle today’s youth. They blame cultural phenomenon like helicopter parenting, snow-plow parenting, doting parenting, or the inability of parents to hold their children accountable as the reasons that children grow up to be narcissistic. While outwardly these parental behaviors may look like like the child is being overvalued, there is something underneath these interactions that explains the development of a narcissistic personality. To be clear,

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