Dear Dr. Laura,
I heard your commentary yesterday on the topic of narcissism and agree with your point of view. We have four children, ages 16, 14, 11 and 9, whom we homeschool. We homeschool for a variety of reasons, primarily so we can teach Christianity freely during school, but also for many other reasons.
We work at combating child narcissism in many ways. My 16-year-old daughter did not have a cell phone for years, and only received one with no access to the Internet this past year for Christmas, after she turned 16. Our other children do not have, nor do they need, cell phones. My 14-year-old son would love to have a Facebook account. We have said no for a variety of reasons, including the ones you talked about, as we see kids who fixate on posting photos and odd comments about themselves. We don't want this for our children, thank you.
Most importantly, I believe, we combat narcissism by raising our children in a Christian home, going to Sunday School and church each week, and by teaching them that God calls them to help others first. To help others, as the Bible says, is to help Christ himself. We teach our children, properly, that they are sinners in need of saving grace, not little founts of perfection who need to be praised day and night. We hope that we have found a good balance of praise and support for them, balanced by the reality of their sin nature, and their need for repentance. Reliance on the Word of God takes care of that self-focused lifestyle that we see from many families around us.
We are also a part of a wonderful Christian homeschool co-op group, which supports and stresses all of these values with the children. We teach our children the benefits of hard work, self-reliance, not having to be the center of attention, and all of the biblical virtues espoused by Jesus. With the help of the Lord, we hope and pray that we are on the right path, and gather support from those like-minded parents around us. Take hope, Dr. Laura, there are parents out here who are working with all of their might to fight the culture around us, and to raise Godly, selfless children. God willing, we will be successful!
Remember, as you have taught, that simply because something is difficult to do, does not mean that one ought not to pursue the difficult goal. It is tremendously challenging to fight the crumbling Western culture around us which is attempting to get rid of all religious and biblical values. But God calls us to work with all of our might and to take the best care we can of the children He has entrusted to us. Like others in cultures past (think of the first Christians fighting Roman influences), we will remain faithful with His help. Thank you so much for talking about these important issues, and for getting us to think more about them! You are a beacon in an increasingly dark cultural world.
God bless you, Dr. Laura!
Blessings from Texas,