All of us need to do a much better job of helping our children develop healthy self-esteem. Parents especially need to be mindful of this. And that doesn’t mean giving our children ego-boosts all the time. Rather, it means helping them develop a properly balanced sense of self-worth.
For the sake of our emotional, psychological, and spiritual health, it’s always a good idea to strive for balance in most areas of life. But when it comes to our character development, nowhere is the need for balance greater than with respect to our sense of self-importance or self-worth.
It was once widely believed that children naturally move toward positive growth unless they experience trauma of some type. But we now know that what doesn’t happen in the way of learning certain crucial life lessons is just as important to good character development as the tragic events that might beset a person and arrest or impede their character formation. And that’s what prompted me to catalog what my experience has taught me are the 10 essential “commandments” of good character development.
If you want to help make a person more narcissistic, give them lots of recognition, praise, and reinforcement for their natural “gifts.” But if you want them to have more healthy self-regard, be sure to recognize them for what they do with what they’ve been given.
Properly balanced self-esteem and reinforcement for the conscientious exercise of one’s will are of paramount importance to the process of healthy character development.
If you really want to help bend someone’s ego pathologically out of shape, send them the constant message that it’s what they bring to the table that really counts, not how they conduct themselves when they’re at the table.