What becomes of selfish and entitled children?
Narcissism in children is a problem for a couple important reasons. First, nobody much enjoys selfish and self-absorbed people. As psychologist Roy Baumeister puts it: "Thinking you're god's gift to the world is nice for you. It's a little harder for everyone else around you." (Elias, 2008) But more importantly, it develops a mindset that is incompatible with the world. Psychologist Jean Twenge, who has been a pioneer in research on trends in narcissism, states that "their narcissism could be a recipe for depression later on when things don't work out as well as they expected." (ibid)
Those who work with kids are noticing the effects all this servitude parenting is having on many of their children. One experienced teacher says that "I see the way their parents treat them, and there's a big adjustment when they get into my class. It's good for them to realize that they aren't the center of the world, that sometimes other people's feelings matter more than theirs at a particular moment – but it only helps if they're getting the same limit-setting at home. If not, they become impulsive, because they're not thinking about anyone else." (Gottlieb, 2011, p. 76) There are other consequences too. Harvard psychologist Dan Klindon points out that this doting creates the attitude in these children that "if they ever feel a twinge of non-euphoria, there should be another option." In other words, parents are raising the bar on what it takes for these children to feel normal, making it that much harder for them to experience any discontent that does come their way. Psychologist Wendy Mogel puts it much more colorfully, saying that all of this is merely creating anxious and entitled kids whom she labels as "handicapped royalty." (Gottlieb, 2011, pp. 76,78)