Monday, March 16, 2009

"A generation of narcissists"

This report can't come a moment too soon. I've been banging on about it for years, and it's all true. The way we treat our children has turned them into narcissists.

You see evidence of it every day: The X Factor wannabes for a start. They all think they're entitled to do well and can't believe it if they don't. Shattered dreams! All I have is my music, blah, blah, blah. If you've got no talent in a certain area, live with it and try something else. There's not very much than can be done about it. You're not the new Leona Lewis. Boo bloody hoo. Now go and train as a nurse or something. Parents may kick up a fuss but everyone needs to be realistic.

Kids should realise they need to work hard to get anywhere - it's not a right to land a marvellous job. And those who aspire to be a superstar DJ or footballer's wife (which is not an ambition anyone should be proud of anyway) should think again and get a few skills under their belt just in case it doesn't happen. I hear of kids all the time who storm out of work experience at magazines because they're not getting to write the cover story.

Blame the American psychology that we've embraced over here in the past 20 years. Kids are all told that they can do no wrong, they can be anything they want to be and don't let anyone tell you your dreams are beyond your reach. And they believe it. They think the world is there to facilitate their dreams and they go into a terrible spin if they don't get their own way. The parents are to blame here, and now we have a generation of out of control narcissists. No wonder Britain's in such a mess.

When I was at school, my parents always backed the teacher. Sometimes this was unfair, but generally they understood what was really going on. Nowadays parents always back the kids. It must be truly awful being a teacher.

As it says in the report, narcissits make poor parents, employees, partners and everything else that requires communcation and some kind of relationship. They're way too self-involved.

What have we done?

Get it sorted.


Ishouldbeworking said...

This is what we get when constant unqualified praise, avoidance of the word 'no', and drip-feeding of unrealistic expectations are used as quick-fix substitutes for giving time and thought to kids. And no I'm not a parent, but I am a bloody shrink so I know what I'm talking about.

Five-Centres said...

Quite, ISBW.

I'm not a parent either, but I fully understand what's going on.

Emma said...

Hear hear.

Just a shame you couldn't have written this 20 years ago and shown it to new parents Mr and Mrs Myerson. It's that kind of parenting that's turned their son and his siblings into such arseholes, not bloody skunk.

Clair said...

I think us non-breeders ought to stop qualifying ourselves in situations like this. We still know right from wrong, and our slight detatchment means we can be objective about other people's little bleeders.

I did like that quote about being a 'superstar DJ', not just a DJ. We need more DJ's and less street sweepers, eh?

Cocktails said...

Mmmm, this could be true. It certainly might explain some of touchy over-sensitive workplacement students we have who can't deal with constructive criticism (and I'm nice to them!!). It has been really noticeable over the past few years and seems to create a quite astonishing degree of deluded arrogance (e.g. 'house style? I'm not following that, my way is much better').

And hooray, Clair - I agree with you entirely. I'm tired of having to be quiet about other people's poor parenting skills just because I don't have any children of my own and don't intend to.

Roman Empress said...

My first and hopefully last experience of managing an upper middle class nursery in Stoke Newington, was exasperating. 'But Raif can express himself with artwork on the walls and he's not expected to hang up his coat at home...' Well, I have thirty children and he bloody well needs to hang up his coat here. Almost all of the parents expected an individually tailor made approach to education that mirrored their own parenting style and paid for by the state. Now, if I were a parent I would be grateful if they plonked them in front of the tv for a few hours, just to have a break.

Matthew Rudd said...

Being a superstar DJ is not all it's cracked up to be.

(So I'm told).