This phenomenon is not surprising in our culture of excessive praise, of calling
children "special", and so on. Kids are made aware too early that they
can be "better" than others. Next some try to enhance that position
(sometimes unwittingly) by putting others down or excluding them. Praise can be
motivating but can also lead to negative and jealous behavior.
I agree with wilf. A whole lotta this comes from the everybody gets a trophy and
all of you are superstars form of parenting that leads children to think that
social positioning is vital and more important than just being a good person.
Ask any teacher who has dealt with redirecting that child who has never been
told that they are anything but perfect and they will tell you. Kids do best
when they know from an early age that they are loved, but also that they
don't know everything. If you're going to heap praise your kid for
being great at something, why not start with--"You are really good at being
patient with others," "you always treat others with respect," or
"you're good to other people," instead of "You're
wonderful because you're you," or "you try harder than the other
kids" or "I've seen high end fashion models who can't apply
blush as well as you."
It was an interesting experience working in the LDS nursery class on Sunday. It
amazed me how much the children are duplicates of their parents behavior. One
little girl would push and hard shove the other children with a smile on her
face, then go back and try to hug the child. This occurred several times. Her
mother is the same way--it is OK to be a bully as long as you go back and give a
I agree with the writers above. I watched it today. I'm really finished
with the "princess" thing!It could be called "mean-girls"
on the rise!