Sound Off: Raising Narcissistic Children

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Joe Clair Morning Show (WPGC)

Joe Clair Morning Show (WPGC)

During my morning DC transit today, I happened to catch a segment on the Joe Claire Morning Show (WPCG 95.5). The conversation centered on a national study of the cause of narcissistic children. The culprits; the parents, of course! According to the radio host, Joe Claire, the study discussed how parents may help create their own little narcissists.

As a single parent, I sometimes (most of the time) try to over-compensate for the fact that my daughter’s father is not always present. That’s my way of putting in nicely, by the way. I must admit that it doesn’t always work well for me. Just ask my bank account. But, the way I see it, I rather my kid be confident than a doormat. So, you can imagine how quick my fingers were to dial in to give my take on the matter. After speaking with Joe Claire (on-air), Joe and I came to the agreement that it’s not a bad thing to want our kids to have high self-esteem. But, I admit that keeping the balance is the hardest part in all of this.

I mean, who wants to be told how to raise their tots? I’ll wait….. Hmmm…. EXACTLY! We look at our children (for the most part) as our way to make things right. We come from all sorts of family dynamics. And, whether we choose to admit it or not, we pass some of that down to our kids.

My choice to remind my daughter about how she is the MOST special and the greatest kid in the universe, is my way of boosting her self-esteem. According to a study by Eddie Brummelman and co-author, Brad Bushman, this may be good for our house but cause friction in today’s society.

“Overvaluing parents tended to claim that their child had knowledge of many different topics – even these nonexistent ones,” Brummelman said.

Jeff Grabmeier’s article, “How parents may help create their own little narcissists,” stated the researchers noted that parental overvaluation is not the only cause of narcissism in children. Like other personality traits, it is partly the result of genetics and the temperamental traits of the children themselves. He quoted Bushman as stating, “Some children may be more likely than others to become narcissistic when their parents overvalue them.”

Definitely food for thought! If you think your child is “more special” than others and have a moment to take the Parental Overvaluation Scale (test/survey), I invite you to do so HERE. If you found it as interesting as I did, feel free to share it with other parents.

An International Communications & Public Relations professional, LaDàna specializes in brand development, event management and lifestyle marketing. She is available for project work both domestic and abroad. To have your event, product or brand featured on this site, email at

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