Am I Creating A Narcissistic Child?

Narcissistic Child- Seeing It Their Way

From time to time an event occurs that makes you evaluate how you are doing as a parent, well a recent event has me questioning whether I am creating a narcissistic child. Last week was spirit week at my son’s school. Everyday had a theme from Favorite Team Day to Crazy Hat Day. So I ran around (purchasing items) making sure my little guy would be appropriately dressed for each day all while the hubby sat back and observed. Finally on Thursday night when I came back from Wal-Mart at 10 o clock at night to find MORE red for Field Day, my hubby asked me “why are you doing all this?” After the words came out of my mouth I immediately knew not only did I sound crazy, but I may be doing my son a disservice. My response was “I want him to look cool and not feel left out”.

Spirit Week- Seeing It Their Way


Before you try to help me decide if I am indeed creating a narcissistic child or not let me give you a little back history about me. I have ALWAYS had a weight problem and as a young child I was picked on by family, “friends” and classmates. This is no new story, but for whatever reason whether it was a lack of money, frustration or a form of punishment for being overweight I did not get new clothes as rapidly as my waistline expanded so I frequently wore ill-fitting clothing.  The combo of being overweight and wearing clothing that were often too small made for some rough moments in my childhood.

As a parent we all want to shield our children from pain and ridicule and I am no exception to the rule. My son is a very smart, reserved, mild-mannered, respectful and considerate KINDERGARTNER whose also the shortest in his class. While these traits is/will be amazing his classmates can’t quite yet appreciate all that my little man has to offer. So mommy makes sure his outer appearance is just right  and gives him 10 times the compliments that should be legally allowed. 

Okay, less figure this out. During my self-evaluation I did some research on narcissism and children. I came across a study named The Origins Of Narcissism in Children that stated, “Narcissistic individuals feel superior to others, fantasize about personal successes, and believe they deserve special treatment. When they feel humiliated, they often lash out aggressively or even violently.” So I immediately relaxed as my little guy does not fit the bill at all. I’ve concluded that I simply overcompensate for what I was lacking in my childhood by being too particular about his (actually both my sons) attire and overly highlight their positive attributes to offset any negative experiences they may have out of my care. 

Because I am now conscious of what I do, I will make an effort to make sure I do not project my own insecurities and experiences on to my sons. So when Romee woke up on Friday morning I let him select what he wanted to wear to school and he chose a pink shirt and said “some people think pink is just for girls and may make fun of me, but I like it!”  He is already displaying that he is aware that some people may not like what he wears or him for that matter and he is ok with that, he is happy with himself. Mommy can learn a lesson or two from this little guy. 

Narcissistic Parent - SITW

I decided to research how to avoid raising a narcissistic child, just to be safe,  and found a great article on NY Post  with 9 steps that I will use as a guide in the future.

  • Say No- A lot of life is being told no and then trying to come up with an alternative plan.
  • Teach Them Basic Manners– A lack of manners is the ultimate form of narcissism. 
  • Teach Them How To Manage Frustration- Teach a kid how to overcome adversity, and you’re also teaching him or her about disappointment, another invaluable life lesson that’s cut off when parents attempt to cocoon their children from anything unpleasant.
  • Pull A LouieThere was a fantastic episode of “Louie” a few seasons back where his daughter is enraged because her sister got something that she didn’t.“Listen,” he says. “You’re never gonna get the same things as other people. It’s never gonna be equal. It’s not gonna happen ever in your life, so you must learn that now, OK? The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have . . . as much as them.”
  • Be Kind – To your children and others.
  • Travel With Them– Expose theme to different ways of life. 
  • Love And Approval Are Different– You can love someone while correcting them or being disappointed by their behavior. 
  • Read To Them– A recent study found that reading fiction helps people improve their empathy, because it encourages them to place themselves in others’ lives and understand their actions.
  • Run Errands With Them – The message is that you have to spend a portion of each day doing things that are necessary and that not every activity revolves around kids. 

Do you have moments where you evaluate your parenting?


  1. Now that you mention it….

    I said to my little guy the other day, “do you know how cute you are”? His response was a simple, “yes”.

    • That is exactly how both my boys would respond as well. I guess we should expect them to answer that way since we have told them since the day they were born how cute they are!

  2. A great post. Now if only all the parents who should read this would read this. One friend in particular really could use this….as her daughter is out of control.

    • That’s the whole reason why I share to hopefully help someone else.

    • Thanks Melissa! It’s nice to have people that simply understand.

  3. I don’t think it’s narcissistic at all! I don’t really think of children as narcissistic anyway. But my kids have their moments, as do I. I think it’s human nature and I don’t really think it’s “narcissistic!” at all

    • I agree Jeanine! I had to step back and make sure I wasn’t creating an atmosphere where Narcissism could become an issue.

    • Spirit week simply highlighted how I deal with my son on a regular basis. While I don’t feel I am/nor he is a narcissist but I could reel it back a little in the vanity and over praising department.

  4. I think every parent has these moments and if they say they don’t, they aren’t really being truthful with themselves. I don’t think it is narcissistic unless it becomes an issue where your child feels they NEED the things you are offering. Wanting your child to fit in with others is a common thing among parents. We only want what is best for our kids!
    Valerie recently posted…Mochu Pop Language Immersion Game For Babies And ToddlersMy Profile

  5. Those are some great ways to avoid raising a narcissistic child. It’s hard, though, because we think our child is so cute/beautiful, and we always tell them so. But I think it helps them build a good self esteem, too.
    Carly Brydon recently posted…Keep OnMy Profile

  6. To me, saying no when needed is very important. A child needs to know that he/she won’t always get what they want in life.

  7. I have evaluated my parenting in certain areas – Like my kids get away with not doing all their chores. Is that poor parenting on my part?

  8. I will say this as a mom who already raised two girls. I too did not want my kids to go through life feeling left out and getting hurt by friends…even though I think this is more of a girl thing because girls are just more drama…period. I did give my kids lots of compliments and the joke is no self esteem issues with them, however, mixing it up and telling the the truth when it’s needed. I told them when they were the best at what they were doing but they did look great (softball, dancing) and made sure they were trying to improve. There will always be someone better. When my daughter wanted to sing, I was honest and said nicely, well you’re not ready for American Idol. She took lessons and practiced everyday so she could sing her sister’s wedding song and she knew she sounded good when I told her that she was ready for American Idol. I think we need to build their self esteem and confidence so they don’t become followers but we also have to mix it with honesty. It’s ok for him to think he’s adorable (Because he is!!) I think with you teaching him no sometimes you’re doing just fine. Here’s another tip – let him say NO to you for some things and give a good reason why. They need to be able to say no with confidence so they’re not pressured into anything.
    Rachel Ferrucci recently posted…Addiction Recovery Through Music at Recovery UnpluggedMy Profile

  9. Wow what a powerful post Yolanda! I had no idea you went through that as a kid. I dont have kids but I already have in my mind when I do I want my children to have more than I did…it just a natural thing. You just wanted what was best for him but I am happy you wanted to make sure you wasnt creating a little monster too. He is so cute and I loved he picked out pink! He is gonna be a leader!!
    Kiwi recently posted…They’re Back Pitches: Pitch Perfect 2My Profile

  10. Having a blogger mom, my two boys have experienced a lot. Going on trips, to museums, attractions, etc. I worry that all of these opportunities will make my sons feel entitled. The other day, my 4 year old told me he would behave better if I took him somewhere every weekend – Legoland or Great Wolf Lodge were his suggestions. My husband and I discussed it and we are going to cut back on the things we do. I don’t want the feeling of YOU HAVE TO TAKE ME SOMEWHERE ALL THE TIME to continue!!
    Kecia recently posted…Learning more about Tomorrowland at the Disney Archives #TomorrowlandEventMy Profile

  11. I’ve got four kids, two who are grown and I still evaluate my parenting. It doesn’t go away when their grown, it just changes. 🙂

  12. A better question might be when do I NOT question my parenting. I think you’ve got a great little guy there, and this was an awesome read. I like the reminders of how we can be better examples for these little people we’ve created.

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