This week I'm continuing to read the book The Spoilt Generation, ready for our staff meeting on Wednesday. This is my second reflection based on the Bigging Them Up chapter. Dr Sigman writes about how important it is to consider "what kind of self we are trying to raise the esteem of". If a child's sense of self is distorted so that the child is what he terms "a narcissistic entitled child" then Dr Sigman writes we would do better to promote more responsibility or accountability (self-criticism, self-discipline, self-control etc) than self-expression, self-indulgence or self-esteem. He goes on to write that constructive criticism now has a bad image as it is seen as undermining a child's self-esteem, but that there are, in fact, many behaviours that should be met with disapproval.
Also in this chapter he explores the problem of defining the self, especially in terms of on-line identities on social networking sites, which can lead to a distorted view of the self. He explains that young people are always "looking over their shoulder to the sea of gazes from their "friends" on Facebook" yet often they are lacking in these gazes or feedback from parents or other reliable adults. He talks about the problems of young people "invading their own privacy and giving their self away". He claims that by sharing their private self so openly in social networking, they are actually eroding the individual, and points out that it is ironic that there is such concern for privacy in many areas such as data protection, but less concern about privacy in online identities.