Around me, I often hear children being told “you are so special”, “you are the only one”, “you are amazing”. How true is this in terms of a healthy personality development?
Of course, it's true that every person is special. We are all unique and special. There is no more of us. Our children are also very precious and special to us, no doubt. However, in many sources that I have learned, the children, whose uniqueness is constantly emphasized and praised for everything they do, talk about the imbalance in their ego development. When they grow up, this carries the risk of causing them to have problems in many matters, from bilateral relations, school success, finding a job to marriage.
Parenting has changed
The previous generation grew up in more crowded families, with more siblings and less opportunities. We have not heard of concepts such as being special or being unique. We were children like everyone else. In the last 15 years, family structures have changed like many other things in Turkey. Family elders now live separately. The number of families with one child has increased. Access to technology and information is very easy. The possibilities are wide. The place of women in working life is increasing day by day. The understanding of parenting has changed, improved.
All this over time brought individuality to the fore. We have moved from collective lives to lives of increased loneliness. The importance we attach to people, that is, to ourselves and our children, has increased. We are more focused on learning and improving. Everything is so beautiful up to here. However, the messages we give to our children seem to be out of tune.
The messages of “you are special”, “you are unique”, “you are wonderful” that we tell children so that they can develop self-confidence, be at peace with themselves, and let them know that they are loved, created young generations with overinflated egos, who think they are the wisest and most special person in the universe, but when they fall into real life, they see that they are not and become depressed. Psychological counseling centers are full of children who are brought in as “very high-aware” and who have been given intelligence tests. Reorganization of intelligence tests is on the agenda. Because now everyone's child is very smart, very successful, very aware.
So much so that when these children grow up and start school, they do not respect their teachers. They know that with a single word, they will bring their families to school and make them do whatever they want. (Of course, the mistakes in the education system also have a share in this) They start their business life, they do not like the company or they want to be a manager in the first job they enter. On the first business day someone asks, “Can you archive these files?” When he says, the worlds fall on their heads and they print the resignation. Or they have trouble finding a life partner because they think no one is worthy of them.
In summary; They do not know how to value others, to work for something, to be patient, to achieve success without falling, and to struggle in the face of difficulties. They can't grow because they don't know.
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with many teachers and psychological counselors. Unfortunately, schools are full of such children. Ego development is of course important in a healthy person. Children who are brought up to be beaten on their heads become insecure adults. But everything has to have a balance. Our children are very special to us, but we must remember that their lives are not just about us and we should avoid unnecessary praise so that they will not be difficult when they grow up. Let's see their efforts and approve them without judgment, but let them know that not every step they take has to be perfect. When we say let's do good in this way, we do evil.