Blog Entry:

Narcissism?  Why Are We Surprised?

April 01, 2015

A new study conducted by the University of Amsterdam and Ohio State University, found that overvaluing children causes narcissism. It is also being reported that narcissism is on the rise among Western children. The only surprising part of the new research is that no one seems to know the real root of the trouble.

Parenting experts across the country are offering up advice on how to instill self-esteem without encouraging narcissism.  Why instill qualities in our children focused on the "self" when the very definition of narcissism is the excessive interest in one's "self"?  Shouldn't we focus on instilling qualities that esteem others instead of esteem the self?  Continuing to make esteeming the self so important seems to be the origin of narcissism.

Mackenzie Dawson at the New York Post wrote a fabulous article, "How Not to Raise a Narcissist in 9 easy Steps," that points out how not raising a narcissist is pretty common sense and yet a study had to be conducted on narcissism in the first place. With so many self-absorbed American children, it is hard to believe there are still others-centered ones in our communities.  No worries, there are!

Local Baton Rouge fifth graders had been given an American History assignment. One of the girls had not turned in her project and was facing a "zero" and conduct marks, which meant she would be in trouble in her already troubled home. Without prompting, a fellow classmate stepped in to help. She invited the girl in trouble to her home after school for three afternoons to help her research the project. She even purchased a trifold display board for her presentation. Now, here's the real clincher...the girl in trouble had a history of being picked on by other students. She was not a popular girl, but one that other students teased. These girls have been taught since first grade to esteem others.  The girl in trouble? She turned in her assignment. Received a high mark and gained the respect of many of her classmates who no longer have anything to tease her about.

No typical narcissistic mean girls here (pictured above). We surprised these girls and their class with Mrs. Jill's famous homemade cookies. The girls each received a heart in hand charm-one for helping a friend in need and one for allowing her to help.

These are Manners of the Heart (MOH) kids. In first grade they learned to put the needs of others ahead of their wants; and in third grade, they learned to stand up for the child being bullied. They are living out the lessons of Manners of the Heart.  

During the 2013-2014 school year Southeastern Louisiana University's Monique Leblanc conducted a research study evaluating the impact of MOH on a school's academic achievement. Leblanc credited MOH with reducing disciplinary actions in schools by 30%-60%. The study also found MOH raised schools' academic achievement scores by 15 points, a full letter grade, in just one year. That means bringing a school from F to a D or C to a B.  On the contrary, schools that did not implement MOH, experienced a 28% increase in disciplinary referrals and a 15.6 point decrease in academic achievement scores, which translated dropping a full letter grade in just a year. The schools without MOH went from a D to an F.  

Everyday without the message of MOH is a day children are dying. Their souls are dying from empty hearts. When their hearts are locked, they fail in school. When they fail in school, they answer the "call of the street". When they answer the "call of the street", they kill each other. They kill us. And worst of all, they kill themselves. They never find the opportunity to become all they are meant to be.

MOH delivers a life-changing message for today's children. We cannot deliver it without your help.  Help us save this generation.