Narcissistic Young People

There is an interesting article in the Dallas Morning News today titled: Study: Young People Increasingly Self-Absorbed.

The article is about how high school and college age young adults are becoming increasingly narcissistic and selfish. (Obviously, there are some young people who stand in contrast to this description, as evidenced by my awesome 17 year old brother-in-law.)

The most telling paragraph in the article reads:

“We need to stop endlessly repeating ‘You’re special’ and having children repeat that back,” said the study’s lead author, San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge. “Kids are self-centered enough already.….Some of the rise in narcissism was probably caused by self-esteem programs that many elementary schools adopted in the 1980s, the study suggested. It noted that preschools began to have children sing a song to the tune of “Frère Jacques” that proclaims: “I am special, I am special. Look at me.”

Oh, what tangled webs we weave when we abandon God’s wisdom in favor of our own ideas. Who decided it was a good idea to teach children that the whole world revolves around them? My prayer is that parents and educators will return to teaching children about serving in humility, and considering the needs of others. God’s word gives us all we need for life, including child-rearing guidelines!

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Philippians 2:3

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Ephesians 4:2

“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”

I think the vast majority of us, if not subjected to horrible verbal or physical abuse, already think fairly highly of ourselves! It is concern for others that must be demonstrated to children, and instilled in them purposefully. Concern for themselves comes quite naturally! (As seen in my 18 month old almost daily when she refuses to share her toys, consider the feelings of her brothers, etc.) My hope is that my children will be blessed to understand that sometimes our family makes sacrifices to meet the needs of others, because that is what brings glory to God.

Of course it should be mentioned that there are many people who think that having a personal blog such as this one is the ultimate expression of narcissism…..but we’ll leave that discussion for another day! Ha!

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