Life is all about ME

Love Me

“Kids today believe the world is all about them, and how great they are…we are raising a generation of narcissists.”

- Jean Twenge, lead researcher American Freshman Survey

Webster defines narcissism as a mental disorder characterized by extreme self-absorption, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a need for attention and admiration from others.

Narcissus was the mythological Greek young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water…sickening, huh? According to an abundance of data from multiple study groups, America may be raising up a group bathed in misguided self love.

The recently released American Freshman Survey finds a gaping chasm between students’ perceptions of their giftedness and drive to succeed and the reality. For example, according to lead researcher Jean Twenge, today’s freshmen are much more likely to rate their writing abilities as “gifted” than their predecessors. But their test scores—and often their reading and writing abilities—are far below their 1960s counterparts.

Elisabeth Wilkins of Empowering Parents summarizes, “in the past four decades, students’ opinions of themselves have soared — even though test scores have gone down.”

Worse, experts warn that anxiety and depression are up 40% for college freshmen in the last 20 years.

There are several reasons for the narcissistic leanings. First is the idea that so many parents have about having their kids feel good about themselves…the old self esteem issue, which leads to a child never being critiqued on anything. (Hey, we all get a trophy!) Second is the unbelievable technology options offered to very young children. That doesn’t sound so bad at first, but some researchers maintain that the games allow the kids to turn themselves into faux celebrities…they become kings and queens of a fictional universe in a matter of days while learning the game. Wilkins states, “They become very upset when reality doesn’t match their video game world.”

Wilkins suggests we as parents need to encourage in our kids “empathy, hard work and more real-world, face-to-face interactions.” In addition, she says that we must help our children develop compassion and “do things that are worthy.”

My old high school football coach always said, “There’s no substitute for hard work to get to the top. If you try another way, it will not be genuine, and you’ll probably end up hurting yourself or others.”  Good word, Coach Gage.

 

Coach Kris Hogan

About Kris Hogan

With a 16-year educational tenure under his belt, Kris Hogan has spent the last nine years working at Grapevine Faith High School in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sitting on its administrative team, Hogan also pulls double duty as Faith’s head football coach. Hogan also was the subject of Remember Why You Play, a 2008 book by sports columnist and author David Thomas that chronicled the lives, struggles and successes of Coach Hogan and his team. READ MORE→