teens and cell phonesSara is only 12. Selfie posting on social media is a daily event. Her parents wonder why she takes so many pictures of herself? Is this an indicator of narcism? Should they be concerned?

These parents aren’t alone. Most of us wonder, what is the connection between selfies and narcissism? Researchers are trying to sort it out since selfies are here to stay. We want to know if we are raising self-absorbed kids given their interaction with social media.  Some researchers say, YES; others say NO; still others say, we don’t yet know.

Author and clinical psychologist, Dr. Laura Markham, says NO. Selfies do not indicate narcissism. Based on her research, she believes children are more confident, not entitled. However, researchers Fox and Rooney found a small correlation between men who posted numerous selfies and narcissism. But in that same study, women  did not show that connection. This relationship between selfies and narcissism is complicated to study. A few studies here and there with conclusions can’t give us a good answer yet.

Like most things, parents can use common sense when it comes to social media posting. Children should be taught how to be good netizens. Discussions regarding what to  post and how often to post are necessary with children.

Furthermore, parenting experts wonder if helicopter parenting plays more of a role when it comes to narcissism. Children who are hovered over and  not allowed to fail or struggle, lose their self-confidence-a healthy marker of self-esteem. And over scheduled kids quickly learn that they are the center of attention. Family life revolves around them and their next event.

Perhaps instead of focusing on selfies, we should help children find their place in a working family unit-do chores, be grateful, struggle and be allowed to fail. Children who are unconditionally loved and learn how to serve and think of others will not be narcissistic. For those kids, selfies are probably just harmless fun.


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