(WTNH)– A new study has found that parents who overly praise their children and tell them that they are special are doing more harm than good.
Researchers at the National Academy of Sciences studied more than 500 kids between the ages of 7 and 11 in the Netherlands and found the excessive praise created narcissism. Dr. Laura Sanders is a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Living. She says as children grow up and hear excessive, unrealistic praise, parents are only hurting their child’s development. When a child is pumped up and told they are the best at sports, school or music, it slowly creates the narcissism.
“People who are truly narcissistic have trouble relating to others because if you are better than others you have difficulty with the interpersonal exchange of friendships, of coworkers, or relationships,” said Dr. Sanders.
She says for children to gain self confidence and self-esteem they need to fail and then overcome their problems, which is where parents can really help.
“We as parents want to shelter our kids from failure, but honestly, failure experiences are one of the greatest ways to learn,” said Dr. Sanders.
Parents we talked to agree. Hilda Rodriguez from Wethersfield says she helps her kids set goals and then is there to work with them in overcoming adversity.
“Telling them that they can do whatever they set their goals to as long as they do that they should be able to accomplish what they want to do,” said Rodriguez.