A young man looks out the window

A Legacy of Narcissistic Kids?

A Legacy of Narcissistic Kids?

by Bill High

How much of an issue are narcissistic kids these days? I know, I know, that’s probably not exactly what you woke up thinking about today. But as someone who thinks and communicates about family legacy, I was intrigued by an article discussing this topic.

In an excerpt of her book The Meaning Legacy, Paragon Road founder and CEO Laura Roser writes how young people are craving connection in a “disconnected” age. Roser cites research from the National Institutes of Health that shows an apparent rise of narcissistic tendencies in younger generations:

  • The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder for people in their 20s is three times higher than those in their mid-sixties or older.
  • 58% of college students scored higher in narcissism in 2009 than their counterparts in 1982.
  • 40% of millennials believe they should be promoted every two years no matter their level of competency.

Like Roser, I’m not writing to bash the younger generations. There are some really incredible kids on the horizon and some who are doing brilliantly even now. But the statistics tell us there is a problem.

Roser points back upstream: “What I’ve noticed is that the difference between entitled and not entitled kids seems to be mostly about training.”

Put differently, if we have narcissistic kids, perhaps we are the ones to blame.

Given this context, I’d argue that teaching children the value of giving away time, talent and treasure to help others is more important than ever. I believe this kind of training will act to push back against the norms of a self-absorbed culture.

What’s your view? A problem? If so, how do we address it?



Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

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Published February 7, 2020

Topics: Family Legacy

ChildrenFamily LegacyGivingGrandparentsParenting

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