This morning 3/11/15, there was a segment on GMA that talked about how we as parents are making our kids narcissists because we are praising everything about them. Social media was also mentioned as a factor, as well. Here’s the GMA Clip Link .
They said we should love our kids and not tell them they are special over everything. But they are special and unique, so are each and everyone of us. However none of us is more deserving of stuff, attention or recognition more than others just because of our circumstances. When the segment ended it boiled down to giving praise to your children in regards to their gifts and talents and what they are doing. I totally agree with that.
Coming from an education world, I have read many books and seen the many phases of how to develop kids with high self esteems. Unfortunately these fads and research results make me think we are constantly in a social learning experiment. Now that I have a child it is even more apparent to me. What do I do? What do I say?
In my opinion it all comes from Parents just not knowing who they are and they don’t want the kids to be raised like them, or have the same insecurities and are grasping at anything to help their children become great. Trust me, I’ve had the same feeling. After all as a parent we are to raise our children intentionally. We can’t just haphazardly raise our children.
God gave us the ability to be great. After all we were made in his image (with his characteristics). He gave us that desire, even the disciples argued about who would be greater. Jesus didn’t get on to them, he told them how it would go down. (Luke 9:46-48. 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” and Luke 22:24 – 27 24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.)
It has nothing to do with being great for ourselves, unfortunately that is what our nations’ cultures are telling us. But it has everything to do with serving your gifts and talents to your generation and beyond. It’s using your creative ideas and your talents to solve problems, to empower others to live life according to the purpose in which you were born. The King and His Kids picture book can start this conversation with your youngest kids. I think once we understand who we are and what are talents can be used for in the world, we no longer have to think about self esteem. Fulfilling your purpose takes care of all the second guessing, devaluing and comparisons between people.
If you haven’t had a chance I highly recommend reading In Pursuit of Purpose by Dr Myles Munroe.