I have long held the belief that almost anyone from the age of 12 to 25 is a complete narcissist. They are all about the me. What are you doing for me? What are you giving me? How are you helping me? Me, me, me. Most of them cannot see beyond their own nose in the mirror, which is where they spend most of their time. It's an epidemic that has become more and more prevalent in the last few years.
Most American kids have it easy. They are well taken care of. They pretty much get what they want. They feel entitled. They are not forced a lot of them to work for anything that includes an education. It's just handed to them. For some of them, if they have to expend any effort they feel it's some kind of punishment. Everything they want in life should just magically materialize and you should be happy to provide it. If you stray from the constant me, me, me of their lives well you are just selfish and mean. Narcissism is their life. It is all they know. Unfortunately, it will also shape what kind of adult they become.
A recent study came out that said kids brains are not fully formed until around age 30. I had thought it was at around age 25, hence my narcissism beliefs. However, it appears that it may not be truly formed until age 30. So, in a lot of respects kids do not have the ability to make good decisions until they reach age 30, most kids. Some are the exception to the rule, but of late I've noticed that the narcissism and inability are much more prevalent than the opposite. A lot of the narcissism though comes from the environment in which kids live. They see the athletes, singers, movie stars they idolize getting anything they want and doing anything they want with little or no consequence. A lot of the kids are given anything and everything they want and they never work for any of it. They get through school with little effort and in some cases with none and are just passed through. They learn little to nothing about life and education. They have no concept of what it means to actually work for something, anything they want. They expect to be given. They expect to be as those whom they idolize are - rich, poorly behaved, and all about me for the rest of their lives with no effort.
When they do reach about 30, in some cases younger, they realize that they actually have to get a job and make a living. They realize that they are not about to become LeBron James or Tom Brady. They realize that their parents expect them to get out of the house at some point and support themselves. They realize that at their jobs they will have to actually perform in order to get promotions and raises. They realize that they are absolutely unprepared for what real life is about. Some of them learn to deal with it. Some of them suck it up and realize it's not about me anymore it's about making ends meet. Some them though become nothing. They take jobs that are well below their capabilities. Some don't work at all. They can't manage personal relationships with others. They turn to alcohol, drugs, and some even to criminal activities to support their me, me, me lifestyles.
Is the kids fault? The parents? The culture? The non-formed brain? Of course it's a combination of all of these, but 3 of the 4 can be changed. Kids can learn from a young age to be responsible. That actions have consequences. That wants have prices. That work is not a bad word. Parents can stop handing over everything and anything. Parents can require decent grades. Parents can manage what the kids are exposed to culturally. Parents can be responsible. While one cannot change what others in the culture do, they can control what comes into their own lives and their kids lives. They can have meaningful discussions about choices that a child's idol makes. It can be instilled in a child that ME is not all there is and that if they want to be more than need to be about life as a whole. All about me will not work forever.