"Not a quick how-to, this is for the parent, clinician, or caregiver seeking in-depth information and guidance.” - BooklistNotice the signs of narcissism in your child and act to curb them before it’s too late
Raising empathetic and unselfish young people in today’s “all about me” world might seem impossible, but parents can take meaningful action to protect children from these harmful influences. Written by a psychologist with decades of clinical experience, Childhood Narcissism explains how selfish, entitled behavior can take root in a child and shows parents how to stop it before it’s too late. Mary Ann Little identifies the early warning signs that can result in a full-blown narcissistic disorder in adulthood and explores what nurtures a child’s healthy, realistic self-concept and provides a positive model of love and relationships.
Based on the latest research and theory, Childhood Narcissism also identifies four parent types that promote narcissistic development. By recognizing these traits in themselves, parents can work on their own shortcomings to build a stronger family and raise caring, empathetic children.
Mary Ann Little, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who has been in private practice for over four decades. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and has served as an adjunct professor in the departments of psychology and special education at the University of Texas at Dallas. Little authored Loving Your Children Better: Matching Parenting Styles to the Age and Stage of Your Children, Cooperation Station, an educational toy for kids and families, and the Competent Kids Series. She has been a consultant to numerous educational and psychiatric facilities and frequently lectures to both lay and professional audiences. When not in her Dallas office, she can be found with her husband cooking, cycling back roads in Europe, or hiking trails near Santa Fe. Visit her online at drmaryannlittle.com.
Based on a review of the literature and her own decades-long clinical experience, clinical psychologist Little posits that although narcissism cannot be diagnosed until the end of adolescence, early identification of narcissistic tendencies in children and teens can give parents the opportunity to intervene and support positive emotional development. Billed as “a guide to preventing narcissistic development before it begins,” this book provides an understanding of the big picture of narcissism and the various ways it presents, then offers a multitude of practical strategies for concerned parents. Frequent use of examples, charts, and lists of takeaways helps clarify more complicated concepts, and notes and an extensive bibliography provide an avenue for further study. Not a quick how-to, this is for the parent, clinician, or caregiver seeking in-depth information and guidance. This topic is not well covered in parenting literature, which will make it a welcome addition to most collections.
Groundbreaking, unique, brilliant. If you're a parent and you read this book, you can prevent your child from developing the most toxic, dangerous, and all-but-untreatable of any condition in mental health. The best approach—by far—almost never happens, namely to prevent narcissism from sinking its forbidding roots in the first place. In a dazzling display of original thinking, Little explains—in clear and simple words—how to do exactly that.
In Childhood Narcissism Doctor Little brings together her years of clinical experience in the two fields of child development and personality disorders. This book is meticulously researched and very readable with clear descriptions and examples. It is a rare contribution that is an excellent resource for the clinician as well as an invaluable guidebook for parents.
Every parent’s deepest desire is to raise healthy and happy children. However, we see so much narcissistic entitlement in our culture, social media and in people around us, we become anxious, and even a bit overwhelmed, that our kids might turn out that way. There is also a significant gap in parenting books that cover how to prevent narcissism during these critical years. Dr. Little’s book fills that gap, and is a gem of a contribution. Her style is warm and vulnerable, and the content is based on solid research, along with her own career experiences as a psychologist. And you can begin applying he practical “how-to” parenting steps immediately. We really can have happy health kids who will then grow up to be unselfish, loving and successful adults.
Childhood Narcissism is my nominee for the Best Nonfiction Book of the year. An authorial achievement of the highest order. This is psychology at its finest. It’s clear—every parent should have a Dr. Little.
Dr. Mary Ann Little is a master therapist who has brilliantly synthesized years of research and theory to make a very practical guide that parents and clinicians can use to tackle the challenging problem of childhood narcissism. She is deserving of the title “mother whisperer” as she has unique expertise in helping parents understand the importance of raising empathetic and caring children and showing them how to build healthy parent-child relationships. Her special brand of wisdom and clinical insight culminate in a book that belongs on every parent's nightstand as well as in every psychology graduate student’s backpack and clinician’s bookshelf.
In Childhood Narcissism, Dr. Little provides a collection of incredibly useful insights from her decades of clinical practice, proposes a framework for understanding paths toward development of narcissistic tendencies in childhood, and provides the reader with strategies for avoiding common parenting pitfalls and engendering healthy personality development. In a society that is fixated on external indicators of success, which are further reinforced through social media messaging, this book offers parents a perspective on how to carefully cultivate children’s sense of empathy for others, ability to manage life’s disappointments, and development of a balanced self-concept. A must-read for all parents.
Doctor Little has done a superb job of addressing and elucidating the growing problem of narcissism in children and teens. This book is well thought out and provides much needed information regarding the origins, manifestations and interventions for youth struggling with this problem. A real strength of the book is in the clear and practical examples and suggestions for parents about what “to do” and “not to do” in their parenting approaches. The discussion of the two critical dimensions of parenting—the view of the child and the treatment of the child—is especially helpful. This book is a must-read for parents who are trying to push back against the growing tide of narcissism in our society and raise well adjusted, confident and unselfish children.
Doctor Little has done a masterful job of creating a road map for understanding the development of narcissism and showing how to raise a healthy, non-narcissistic child. Information about child development and healthy parenting is presented with praise-worthy clarity and enhanced by very helpful charts and examples from her clinical experience. This book is an exceptional guide for parents, mental health professionals, and everyone who works with children.
No one wants their child to grow up to be a narcissist, but young parents increasingly value privilege, vanity, and specialness over traits that lead to confidence and healthy relationships. In Childhood Narcissism, Dr. Little packs decades of practical experience into a guide for parents who want nuanced and actionable frameworks to better understand themselves and raise an unselfish and caring child. This book is a game changer.
Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Childhood Narcissism: Strategies to Raise Unselfish, Unentitled, and Empathetic Children" is ideal and instructive reading for parents, non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, and professional family counselors. While strongly recommended for community and academic library Parenting and Child Psychology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
11/8/23, Mother: Mary Ann Little contributes an article offering tips to not raise a narcissist child.
2/13/24, Salon: Mary Ann Little wrote a piece featuring themes from the book.