Narcissism in Children and How to Deal With It

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Narcissism is the term used to describe a person’s immense love for the self, self-admiration and self-importance and more interest in their own requirements and desires than others. While it is very hard to imagine, becoming a narcissist can be a by-product of different environments that are present around a child during his developmental years including the parenting style and the parents being narcissists themselves.

If such behaviour is not dealt with early, it may further lead to narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in children. Learn here about what causes narcissism in children and how to deal with it.

Signs of Narcissism in Children

Narcissistic children believe that they are always superior to others and that they deserve more importance than anyone else. They also have a disregard for the feelings of others and always think of unpractical ideas of limitless power and achievements. They further feel that they are entitled to everything that they demand. They reflect arrogant and opportunistic behaviour and always boast way too much about their accomplishments. However, they are hurt easily as they cannot accept criticism and failure and keep blaming others all the time.

What Are the Causes of NPD?

While the exact causes of NPD are still not known, most studies suggest that several factors including childhood experiences, environment surrounding children, psychological causes and parenting style have certain impact in developing such mental conditions. Negligent parents who are detached with their kids and are unresponsive to the child’s care are also the cause behind NPD. Too much negative criticism, excessive pampering and the parents being narcissists themselves could also be some of the reasons.

What Are the Complications of Narcissism in Children?

If not treated early, NPD can lead to long-term damage in children including relationship crisis with family members and friends. They may be also subjected to social isolation as they always expect more attention and praise making them socially awkward and lacking a circle of friends. As their relationships at home and school turn difficult, they may even indulge in drugs and alcohol as they grow up. Narcissist children also tend to be more aggressive with their peers.

Homecare for Children with NPD

Parents observing any signs of narcissism in children should take necessary precautionary measures to avoid further complications. Parents should be firm in giving their message while at the same time avoiding being violent as it may hurt their self-esteem. Parents should also good behaviour themselves as kids learn and mimic most things from their parents. Maintaining balance in your relationship with the kids and telling them that they are equal and are not entitled to any special treatment is important while at the same time not ridiculing the child for his behaviour.

Narcissism shouldn’t be viewed upon as a disease or a mental problem. While it is present in every individual in variations, it needs intervention only when it affects the quality of life and relationships with friends and family. The individual’s willingness to change and effective family intervention is all that needs to save children from becoming pathological narcissists.