- Are Schools Breeding Narcissism? Adnotated.

Tuesday, 30 July, Year 11 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Comedian Todd Barry :

The guitarist for Third Eye Blind was on MTV Cribs, showing off his house. He picks up a guitar and says, "this is my favorite guitar. With this guitar, the songs just write themselves." Yeah, sure. Blame the guitar.

Warning over narcissistic pupils:

The growing expectation placed on schools and parents to boost pupils' self-esteem is breeding a generation of narcissists, an expert has warned.

Dr Carol Craig said children were being over-praised and were developing an "all about me" mentality.

Dr Craig is chief executive of the "centre for confidence and well-being" in Scotland. What? What are you looking at?

She told head teachers the self-esteem agenda, imported from the United States, was a "a big fashionable idea" that had gone too far.

She said an obsession with boosting children's self-esteem was encouraging a narcissistic generation who focused on themselves and felt "entitled".

I wanted to investigate this further, so I went down to the local elementary school, I grabbed one of the Zach Effron looking bastards by the neck, and I shook him like a dog, I said, "listen you North Face wearing organ donor, why is self-esteem so important to you? Why do you have to feel good about yourself all the time? Huh? Huh?"

Well, Zach ran off, bawling, and then I realized: he's not the one who cares about self-esteem.

Right? The kids didn't sign up for the self-esteem classes because it was pass/fail and fit in 3rd period. Adults made a collective decision that this was going to be the core educational philosophy from which everything else would be derived. So? What did adults think was wrong with the way they were raised that they thought self-esteem was so important to teach their kids?

I agree with: schools shouldn't be in the psychology business; emphasis on "feelings" paradoxically (read: not paradoxically) increases the likelihood of depression and anxiety; the more schools dealt with emotional well-being, the less parents would take responsibility, etc.

But she misses the cause. She sees the teaching of self-esteem itself to be the source of the problem; but the real problem is the cultural mindset that thought up self-esteem trainingi -- and a million other things. Even if we stopped promoting self-esteem in schools, the kids are still going to have to watch TV created by these same adults; learn about other cultures from them; learn how to manage money from them; learn that the worth of the individual from them; learn whether killing is right or wrong, and whenii, from them. Not directly from them, of course, which would actually be a dialogue worth trying out; but by osmosis, from living in the world that adults have created for themselves, that kids have no choice but to live in.

In short, they're still going to have to go home to their parents.

Here's an example. I'm down at the playground stalking pedophiles, and I observe that all of the kids are there with a parent, and most of them are with both of their parents. The parents are actively playing, too, they're not just sitting on the benches socializing.

Wow, I think, there are actually more parents than kids on this playground. My parents would never have played with me/us like that. If they actually came (they never would have) they would have sat on the benches. Socializing.

And then I observe that there are 15 or so adults, all crowded around on this playground; however, none of the parents are talking to each other, they are talking only to their kids.

But they are so physically close to each other that it is visibly weird that they are not talking to each other; they must each have made a conscious decision not to interact. And then, it hits me: the reason these parents are playing with their kids and not on the benches is in order not to interact with the other parents. They're using their kids as human shields. They don't know how to have a personal but not intimate interaction with another adult, they can't figure the boundaries. All they know is stranger, friend and sex. All they know are roles.iii

Self-esteem training is besides the point: how are kids going to not become narcissists when their parents train them on purpose to avoid meaningful interactions with strangers?

It boggles the mind how adults complain about how "kids today" are soft, or narcissistic, or impolite. What, is that due to sunspots? An oncogene? "Kids today" aren't any wussier than their parents are making them.

"Kids today are soft, when we were kids we didn't wear bike helmets..." But the kid isn't asking to wear the helmet, you're putting it on their head.iv

She said an obsession with boosting children's self-esteem was encouraging a narcissistic generation who focused on themselves and felt "entitled".

She means the kids; yet the focus on children's self-esteem is the mechanism by which the parents protect themselves.v If my kid is happy, then I have a happy kid; I don't have to do anything. It's the parents who feel entitled -- to having a happy kid.

"Narcissists make terrible relationship partners, parents and employees. It's not a positive characteristic..." she said.

Nice call. A generation too late, but nice call.

  1. Ah, sweet cute echoes of an earlier time, back before MP-style wholesale ablation was the default, and menalone idly contemplated fixes, cures, salves, poultices... []
  2. This is important. []
  3. Well, these parents' parents would have looked at how the other parents are dressed, for instance, and sorted each other into a hierarchy thereby, and behaved adquately to that, which is what permitted them to functionally interact and "socialize". Once you've decided blacks can be people too, and "can't judge books by the cover" and actually "don't judge, at all"... []
  4. Technically, it's his mules that are putting it on his head. []
  5. This'd be one of those gems I was saying he's fabled for, and that I deem to justify the whole adnotation effort. Yes, very much so : the children's self esteem is the mechanism by which the parents protect their own ego. Armed with this basic observation, there's no USGistani family you can't destructure. Eat them. []
Category: Adnotations
Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.

One Response

  1. [...] Are Schools Breeding Narcissism? [...]

Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.