Well, in true procrastinator mode, I’m putting off until tomorrow today’s post. Okay, maybe not complete procrastinatorship (as if my grammar hacking isn’t enough, I”m now making up words!), but I can’t help but share what a parent sent me this morning. It sure hits home. And I know that though “chores” aren’t the complete answer, getting our eyes off ourselves and training our kids to do the same just might be life saving.
From Fox News yesterday: We are raising a generation of deluded narcissists (ouch!) by Dr. Keith Ablow
A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.
Psychologist Jean Twenge, the lead author of the analysis, is also the author of a study showing that the tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30 percent in the last thirty-odd years.
This data is not unexpected. I have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.
On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they “like.”
Using Twitter, young people can pretend they are worth “following,” as though they have real-life fans, when all that is really happening is the mutual fanning of false love and false fame.
That’s really the unavoidable end, by the way. False pride can never be sustained. [sidebar: pride is never a good thing…period.] The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting. … They’re doing anything to distract themselves from the fact that they feel empty inside and unworthy.
Distractions, however, are temporary, and the truth is eternal. Watch for an epidemic of depression and suicidality, not to mention homicidality, as the real self-loathing and hatred of others that lies beneath all this narcissism rises to the surface. I see it happening and, no doubt, many of you do, too.
We had better get a plan together to combat this greatest epidemic as it takes shape. Because it will dwarf the toll of any epidemic we have ever known. And it will be the hardest to defeat. Because, by the time we see the scope and destructiveness of this enemy clearly, we will also realize, as the saying goes, that it is us.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/08/are-raising-generation-deluded-narcissists/#ixzz2HUX9lMHy
Anyway… thanks for walking this road together. It might feel like we’re swimming upstream on certain days, but it’s worth it.
i read this last night on my fox news ap. i was shocked by his candor. even on fox news, i never see someone talk so boldly about kids’ behavior being fueled and copied by what they are seeing on tv and hearing in music. then, it is being played out every day in their media and technology use, ultimately leading to far-reaching, heartbreaking consequences that will reach for generations. i am thinking of deuteronomy 5:8 as i write this… i am posting it on my fb wall today bc i doubt cnn or network news will carry it.
I have just jumped on board with your “experiment” and had a mom learning moment. I asked my oldest (13) to clean the litter box yesterday, he said sure. when I walked back in the room there was litter everywhere and he was standing there awkwardly with the bag in his hand not sure what to do now. I said sweetheart that’s not how you do it. He came back with, we’ll you’ve never taught me how to do this. I was taken back, how many times have I done this in front of him and showed him. But I never taught him how to do it himself! There is a difference in showing and teaching and I never really thought about that.
it made me think about our walk with Christ. Jesus came to earth and showed us how to live righteously, and now he is teaching us by letting us have hands on learning. It takes both steps and I have only been giving the first step and expecting my children to get it all from that. When God has set the example already for us.
thank you so much for sharing your insight! It has been such a blessing to me.
LOVE that, Theresa. Such a good word. Thanks for sharing! So glad to be walking the road with you guys.
I “found” you last week after listening to you at Focus on the Family and I’ve thanked God a few times already for your message. I listened to both shows Friday evening and then Saturday morning I marched my boys (12 and 9) to their shared room and bathroom and gave them the instructions on cleaning said rooms. They did the entire process while I offered oversight. The transformation from my sons was incredible. Their behavior has improved, their room and bathroom have stayed clean all week and their work ethic has taken a turn around. And I haven’t even read your book yet! (No folks, I’m not getting paid for this endorsement.)
I’ve gently reminded them a few times through the week that they will be repeating the cleaning process each Saturday and that they need to block the hour out of their “busy” schedules for the weekends before video games, time with friends, etc. So far, there has been no pushback. Hallelujah and Amen!