Welcome and congratulations!! When you visit us, you're in the company of the elite. Elite caregivers, parents, grandparents, teachers, and providers who care for our youngest during their first few years. We're those who really grasp our reach and care enough to learn more.
We also need to be in the company of others who feel the same way.
This is why we matter so much to the world.
In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second. After this period of rapid proliferation, connections are reduced through a process called pruning, which allows brain circuits to become more efficient. In light of these findings, focusing on early childhood only makes sense. -Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University-
I apologize for repeatedly posting this research from Harvard but I want everyone to realize its significance to us and to the children we teach. Feel free to share.
Today I want to talk about how to raise a narcissist and how not to. In other words, how to build resilience to narcissism from day 1.
Is that even possible? Yes, I believe it is and I have the experience and education to back me up. See my credentials below.
It’s true that all children are born basically narcissistic and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s about survival. It’s also true that children are born with different temperaments, learning styles, and abilities. That’s about genetics.
But it’s the elite caregivers who know how to gradually and developmentally expose children to the feelings of others and teach them how to manage their own feelings accordingly. They keep in mind that, all feelings are OK but all actions and words are not. That’s what I mean about setting appropriate boundaries.
Boundary setting is one of the things almost all humans struggle with at some time or another. And caregivers need to set the right kind of boundaries if we’re in charge of teaching about feelings and how to treat others.
Here are 3 things you can do to help guide young children in their learning about others.
First theirs and then yours and then others. Use books and time on your lap to talk about their feelings and the feelings of others.
Check the sleep charts
Make sure they’re getting enough sleep. Overtired children often can't let go of their egos for a split second.
Teach the ebb and the flow of life with scheduling. Sticking to a slightly flexible schedule helps children get through the times of the day that aren't their favorites while looking forward to the things they love.
Below are some tried and true phrases to help young children accept that others have feelings. If the children's anger gets physical, you might try this
It’s all about the experiences children receive on a daily basis. It’s about our attitude and about our tone of voice. It’s also about the words we choose to use, even from the start.It’s about supplying what I like to call everyday magic.
This is being done by elite caregivers, providers, and parents every day. These actions need to be highlighted and replicated during these transitional times. It makes more sense to focus on early childhood prevention than it does to focus on remediation and rehab. It also makes more sense to support parents and caregivers rather than fault them but what do I know?
The world spends precious time complaining about violence, narcissism, and greed. Many complainers do nothing. It's the people who see and perpetuate good in others who make the real difference. And those who focus on the very crucial period of life called early childhood are indispensable. That's you. The future world says thanks.
Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI.