ESSENCE Poll: Can You Really ‘Overvalue’ Your Child?
JGI/Jamie Grill

Narcissists aren’t born; they’re made. At least that’s what research is suggesting.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA finds that the more a parent “overvalues” their child (read: tells their child that they’re special; tells their child that they deserve something over other kids), the more likely he or she will turn into a mini narcissist.

“When children are seen by their parents as being more special and more entitled than other children, they may internalize the view that they are superior individuals, a view that is at the core of narcissism,” the paper concludes.

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However, researchers point out that there is a fine line between showering your kids with affection and inadvertently pushing them over the narcissism line. When parents are warm and affection toward their kids—as opposed to instilling a sense of entitlement—the kids generally have a higher sense of self-esteem — not necessarily a bad thing.

Where do you fall on the spectrum? Do you try to avoid letting your kids think they’re too awesome, or do you shower them with praise, with no regards to future consequences? Is there such a thing as “overvaluing” your child? Take our poll, and leave us a comment telling us how you let your child know (or would let them know) that they’re special.

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