Parents who engage in these 3 behaviors are more likely to raise narcissistic children
By Cody Isabel/ As a neuroscientist studying narcissistic personality disorder, I have found that family dynamics are one of the most significant predictors of narcissistic behavior in children.
To be clear, children and teenagers are naturally more selfish, not narcissistic, because their minds are still developing. So it's normal for them to be less self-aware until they've learned important skills like emotional regulation and empathy.
Based on my experience, parents who make these three damaging mistakes are more likely to raise narcissistic children:
1. Rejection of negative behaviors
Children learn by observing and reflecting, which means they can adopt your negative actions.
Let's say a waiter messes up your order. Instead of handling the situation with grace, you humiliate and yell at the waiter. Your child watches and thinks that the way you reacted is okay.
2. Ignoring your child's emotions
If you ignore your child's emotions, you are essentially teaching him that what he feels is wrong.
As a result, they will find it difficult to regulate their own behaviors, which can lead to a variety of problems as they grow up—from behaviors like addiction to defensive behaviors like grandiosity, which is a common narcissistic trait.
3. Don't mention your child's narcissistic behaviors
If your child has a falling out with someone in public, there is no need to embarrass them by highlighting their negative traits.
It is important to take it out of the situation.
Start by asking three questions:
1. "What happened?"
2. "How are you feeling?"
3. "How do you think your reaction is making the other person (or people around you) feel?"
Instead of accepting their emotional dysfunction, you should help them recognize their empathy, social awareness, and emotional regulation skills.
Cody Isabel is a neuroscientist and parenting coach