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Why Overvaluing Your Child Can Be Harming Them and You

By: Krystle Crossman

As a parent it is your right to think that your children are the best children in the world. However voicing that opinion is a different story. If you are always telling others how perfect your children are and trying to one-up everyone else’s children there are a host of different consequences that can come from it. You obviously should think very highly of your child and push them to be the best that they can be, but making them feel like they have to live up to the perfect standard that you announce to the world could be very damaging.

When you hear a mother talking about a skill that her child has and you feel the need to chime in with an even more advanced skill that you want your child to have the chain reaction starts. You begin to tell little fibs and embellishments at first. But as time goes on you begin to outright lie about your child’s skills and accomplishments. Constantly trying to put your children ahead of everyone else’s not only causes you to lie to others but it can also make you look narcissistic.

Studies were conducted on Dutch and American parents to see just how far parents would go to overvalue their children. One parent even said that their child had read every single book on a list that was given including a fake one that was thrown on there by the creators of the study. Researcher Eddie Brummelman found that many of the parents overvalued their children by answering yes to questions such as, “My child should be given special treatment” and “My child is a great example for others to follow”. Brummelman also found that parents that overvalued their children had given them strange and unique names so that they would stand out from the crowd.

While the long-term effects on a child are not known yet, the short-term effect of trying to live up to the lies that their parents tell can be devastating for the child. They may lose self-esteem because they are trying to live up to unrealistic expectations and when they can’t they feel like failures. It is okay to think that your children are smart and great role models. Just make sure that you aren’t lying about where they are at.

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