Opinion: Early Signs of Narcissism in Children

Stacy Ann

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Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration. While it is rare for children to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, there are indications that your child may be exhibiting narcissistic traits. It is essential to recognize these traits early on to help your child develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and empathy.

Here are some indications that your child may be a narcissist:

  1. Narcissistic children may believe that they are more special or important than others. They may have an inflated sense of their abilities, talents, and accomplishments. They may also feel entitled and expect others to cater to their needs and desires.
  2. Narcissistic children may have difficulty understanding or caring about the feelings of others. They may be insensitive to their peers, siblings, or even their parents' needs and emotions. They may also be prone to bullying or belittling others.
  3. Narcissistic children may be preoccupied with being the center of attention. They may seek praise and respect from others and become upset if they feel they are not getting enough attention or recognition. They may also use others as props to enhance their self-image.
  4. Narcissistic children may believe they are better than others and may be dismissive of those they consider beneath them. They may be arrogant and look down on others who do not meet their expectations.
  5. They are prone to temper tantrums. Narcissistic children may become angry or upset if they do not get their way. They may throw tantrums or become aggressive when they feel frustrated or powerless. They may also use their emotions to manipulate others into doing what they want.
  6. They lack self-awareness. Narcissistic children may not be able to see themselves accurately. They may have an idealized view of themselves and may be unable to recognize their flaws or mistakes. They may also have difficulty taking responsibility for their actions and may blame others for their problems.

If you recognize these indications in your child, it is essential to take action. Here are some steps you can take to help your child:

  1. Model healthy behavior Children learn from their parents, so it is important to model healthy behavior. Show your child empathy, kindness, and respect. Please encourage them to express their emotions healthily and to consider the feelings of others.
  2. Encourage self-reflection Help your child develop self-awareness by encouraging them to reflect on their behavior and how it affects others. Ask them to consider how they would feel if they were in someone else's shoes. This can help them develop empathy and perspective-taking skills.
  3. Set boundaries It is crucial to set clear boundaries with your child. Let them know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Be consistent in enforcing these boundaries and follow through with consequences when necessary.
  4. Provide praise and validation While it is essential to set boundaries, it is also important to provide credit and proof when your child exhibits positive behavior. This can help healthily build their self-esteem.
  5. Seek professional help If you are concerned about your child's behavior, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can work with your child to develop healthy coping mechanisms and self-esteem. They can also help you as a parent navigate the challenges of raising a child with narcissistic traits.

While it is rare for children to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, there are indications that your child may be exhibiting narcissistic tendencies. Paying attention and dealing with it sooner rather than later will prepare your child for success.

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