Contents of blog copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2017
It's been an interesting year so far. I've lost both my Moms. My mother died in January after a long decline. Soon after, my Mother-in-Law went in for bypass surgery. While her heart healed, other issues zapped her strength and she died April 22.

I may have challenge update posts but I don't know when I'll be posting regularly or when I'll get to visit everyone who is working on the challenges I'm hosting.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest Post: Healthy Self-Esteem or Budding Narcissist?

Brought to you from the authors of. . .
Title: Change Your Life Not Your Wife
Marriage Saving Advice for Success Driven People
Author: Tony Ferretti, PH.D
Author: Peter J. Weiss, M.D.

available in print as well as formatted for the Kindle and the Nook.

Healthy Self-Esteem or Budding Narcissist?

By Tony Ferretti, Ph.D.

With so much talk of helping our children to develop high self-esteem, it's easy to forget that not all self-esteem is healthy. Of course, we parents want our children to feel loved, confident, and valuable. Yet despite our good intentions, it's possible for us to actually introduce an unhealthy self-absorption in our kids. In today's society narcissism is on the rise. People crave attention. They want to be seen and admired, and some seem to feel that every detail of their lives is interesting and should be shared on Facebook. When does it become an unhealthy narcissism?

Narcissists are people who are overly self-absorbed. You might call them vain. They tend to care little for others and have a major sense of entitlement. In plain language - they're selfish. Naturally, they struggle in relationships. Who appreciates friends that are vain and selfish? Unfortunately many lack self-awareness and don't even know they have an issue. It's not a good place to be. So how do we help our children to have a healthy self-esteem while avoiding self-absorption?

Like so many other emotional issues, narcissism may develop partly from heredity (genetics) and partly from childhood experiences (environment). As parents, we can help by providing a loving home where children are valued but not put on a pedestal. They should know they are loved individually, and as part of the family unit, but that they aren't any more important than anyone else. We should meet our kids’ needs but not always at the expense of our own needs or the needs of their brothers and sisters.

Another way to develop healthy self-esteem is by encouraging volunteerism. Serving others through volunteer work takes the focus off one's self. It helps children develop empathy for others and an appreciation for the blessings in their own lives. Family volunteering together is even better! So find a cause that you all can be excited about.

Lastly, help your children learn to identify and express emotions appropriately. Many self-absorbed individuals hide their insecurities through arrogance. By building your child's emotional intelligence you can help her to avoid the need to build an inappropriately large ego instead.

For example, if your son comes home from baseball practice in an angry mood, help him identify what emotion he is feeling and why. Is he angry because he struck out so many times? Or is it really embarrassment or frustration that he's feeling? What can he do to release these normal emotions in a healthy way?

Just these three suggestions can go a long way to giving your children a healthy emotional life as adults - one of the most profound gifts you can give. Yes, narcissistic individuals can change. I work with many each week in my clinical practice, helping them to grow emotionally, repair marriages and connect with others. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Love your kids, but don't put them on a pedestal.



copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2012

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In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Book Dragon's Lair. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won in some kind of contest, or received in exchange for an honest review.