How to Lead Narcissistic Teens

Posted on by Rachel Oliver

There have been a lot of articles popping up and going viral on Facebook and Twitter on How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Narcissistic, kids who understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. And while I’m glad that society values kindness and care for others, I wonder what encouraging this heart-change looks like, practically speaking, for us, as leaders of today’s youth.

Francie Diep writes, “Kids with narcissism agree with statements such as ‘I like to think about how incredibly nice I am’ and ‘Kids like me deserve something extra.’"

How do we help young people break out of these mindsets? How do we help them find a balance of humility and healthy self-esteem, setting them up to be caring, productive and influential members of society? Here are three suggestions for starting to make a change in the hearts of kids in your youth ministry:

  1. Model a servant heart. The best way to show young people how to love and care for others is by exhibiting the behavior yourself.
  2. Give them opportunity to serve. Set the expectation that students will take turns setting up or cleaning up after your get-togethers or plan an outreach event where your entire group can work towards a common, community goal. Also, be sure to “appreciate” those who serve your group in front of students. Honor thankfulness as a core value of your ministry.
  3. Point them to Jesus. Francis Chan writes in You and Me Forever, “we can’t cure narcissism by trying to ignore ourselves. The solution is to stare at God.” We are all naturally selfish beings, and the only true cure to this condition comes from turning yourself over to Christ and allowing Him to change your heart.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

 

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