Golden Child Syndrome: Explore All You Need to Know

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We all know that parents play crucial roles in shaping their children’s lives, thoughts, etc., from early childhood. They praise their children when they achieve something. They also support their children in overcoming their failures. 

But, what if that very parents turn out to be selfish and use their children only to earn their respect? What if they applaud their achievements but continuously bully them for their failure instead of assisting them in subduing their failure? 

What Is The Golden Child Syndrome
What Is The Golden Child Syndrome

The answer is quite simple. They drive their child towards golden child syndrome. Now, what is the golden child syndrome? And what is the golden child? Also, how can you know that you are suffering from golden child syndrome? Keep on reading, and you will learn everything about this syndrome. 

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What Is The Golden Child?

The child in a family is given all the faculties while growing up.

 In exchange, he expected to bring respect to their parents as well as family members by performing the best all the time in his academics, and everything else is termed as the golden child of that family. 

The child is expected to excel in everything. They can never make any fault and must be highly obliged to fulfill the desires and aspirations of their parents. 

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In other words, a family that attains success utilizes the talent of the golden child and depends on it. The parents continually appreciate and adore their golden child and reinforce them to become better in almost everything. The parents of a golden child want their child to become an idol for others to follow. The child should bring name, fame, respect, and money. 

Even the golden child’s siblings are compared with them. They are pressured to improve their performance and bring fame to them, just as the golden child has done for the family. They are taught not to fail in anything in their life, be it education, finding a good job, or showing good behavior and accomplishments in front of others. 

What Do Golden Child Parents Call?

The parents of a golden child are called narcissistic. They are mainly controlling and authoritarian in nature. Though golden children excel in everything in life, they may feel the deprivation of their parents’ true and unselfish love. 

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Also, the strictness of the parents of these children may make them feel unsafe in front of them to voice their personal opinions. They usually fear going against their homes’ rules, even if they know the rules are not morally right. 

What Do Golden Child Parents Call_
What Do Golden Child Parents Call_

These children are so trained by their parents from early childhood that they think that the only goal of their lives is to fulfill their parents’ needs and desires and procure fame, prosperity, and success for their family. 

The parents of these children think that they are an asset to them and present them as superior to others in front of everyone. They force their children to obey them and follow their discipline and rules. 

A golden child grows up as an exceptional being in one or more ways (for example, they tend to be exceptionally beautiful, intelligent, athletic, etc.) and gradually becomes a family possession. 

They feel dutiful about satiating the ambitions of their parents and always cross their boundaries to find something that their parents command them to achieve even if they personally don’t like it. Gradually, under the pressure of the parents, a golden child may acquire some psychological problems in the future.

What Is Golden Child Syndrome?

Golden Child Syndrome is an ailment where a child who is the asset of their narcissist and dominating parents suffers from some mental disorders. 

These psychological or mental disorders are the result of their parents’ continuous building pressure on them. The child’s effort to live up to their perfectionist parents’ image burdens them so much that they start suffering from this syndrome. 

Though it sounds trivial, the golden child syndrome is, in reality, not a joke. Unfortunately, being such a child in one’s own family can carry a steep cost for them. The disease possesses the ability to cripple a child for life and is extremely dangerous if left untreated. The scapegoat children are said to be just the opposite of the golden children in a family. 

Where the golden children bring success to their family and are thus admired by their parents in front of everyone all the time, the scapegoat children cannot satisfy their parents regarding name, fame, success, and prosperity. This is because they possess developmental problems, behavioral crises, academic concerns, and health issues. 

The scapegoat children are bullied by their parents every now and then because they fail in life. Their parents don’t want to understand that it’s not their fault. The truth is that they are born with some health issues that are hindering their success. 

Do I Have Golden Child Syndrome?

Now, the question arises, how can you know that you are suffering from golden child syndrome? What are its signs and symptoms? Well! Here are they:

The Child Worships Authority

As the golden child grows up in an authoritarian family where their parents impose strict rules on them, the child tends to idolize and worship authority. They would always support any autocratic rules, even outside their home. 

In the future, the authority figures in their workplace can take advantage of this weakness to promote their own needs, which is not always good. 

The Child Possesses An Endless Fear Of Failure

Being taught from an inexperienced age to accept that their worth is greater than others, but with the condition that they must never fail, a pressure of success is built in them. 

This pressure of success always plays on in the golden child’s mind and becomes crippling anxiety for failure. When this child becomes an adult, the same fear never leaves them and continuously creates problems in their life. 

These children only recognize them by their identity and popularity. Outside of their recognition, they have no idea who they are. They fail to discover that their parents actually raised them as objects instead of people for their own benefit. They spend their entire lives achieving success, pleasing others, and fearing failure. 

 Can’t Adjust To Romantic Relationships 

When they become adults, these types of children don’t do well in loving or romantic relationships. The main reason for this is that love and romantic relationships are unconditional, but the golden child has always learned that everything has to be transactional. 

They have less time for love-like matters and believe that they have come to this world only to achieve success, and in exchange for success, they will get validation and praise. 

If their partner fails to praise them continually for their achievement, the love relationship breaks up. The egotism of the golden child that he/she has acquired for so long stands in the way of his/her romantic relationship. 

Expects Endless Promotion At Their Workplace

It’s very tough to work with a golden child. When they become adults, these children want instant recognition at their workplace in the form of praise and endless promotions. 

The reason is that they believe that they are magnificently talented and special and possess the right to get what they want. So, when the promotion is not given to them, they start working poorly, sometimes betray the team members, self-sabotages, and gradually lose interest in their job. 

Belittles Others

The golden children receive their parents’ attention and special treatment at home. Their parents talk about them in front of others, pointing out their children as superior to others. 

This creates a feeling of pride within the children. They, out of their ego and pride, try to belittle others because of their inferiority compared to them. 

Becomes Prey To Overconfidence

There’s a saying that “overconfidence is not always a good thing”. However, golden children fall prey to this very overconfidence. Since they never saw the face of failure and always received praise, applause, and honor from their parents, these type of children usually develops overconfidence in them. And this overconfidence ultimately leads them toward failure. 

Can’t Tolerate Their Strong Rivals

A golden child’s worst nightmare is the arrival of someone who can beat them with their more special talent. So, their rivals become their worst enemies, especially if they succeed in defeating the Golden Child. In a hot temper, they can even harm their rivals who have broken their record as well as their identity.  

Finds It Hard To Recognise Other’s Achievements

The golden child’s perfectionist and obsessive nature hinder them from recognizing others’ achievements, including their siblings. Being in a habit from childhood to getting recognition of themself, they find it hard to give credit to others for their accomplishments. Such children feel jealousy and thus restrain themselves from giving compliments to others. 

Ways To Survive Golden Child Syndrome 

  • Accept the murky corners of yourself where pride and honors have nestled themselves 
  • Overcome this syndrome by considering therapy
  • The golden child must set boundaries for themselves and learn to say 
  • “No”, when required. Counseling must be done so that they can manage and control shame in case of their failure. 
  • Pay a visit to the psychiatrist. 
Ways To Survive Golden Child Syndrome
Ways To Survive Golden Child Syndrome

Wrapping Up: 

So, if you feel all the above symptoms every now and then, you have the golden child syndrome. Also, remember that possessing some of the above golden child traits doesn’t automatically make you a golden child as well. Again, it doesn’t always mean that your parents were extremely tough narcissists

However, if you are sure you are also a victim of this syndrome, visit a psychiatrist. They will help you in getting out of that. Also, you have to acknowledge your mistake as a golden child. Last but not least, remember that this syndrome of the golden child is definitely curable. Pursue the ways mentioned above for withstanding the golden child disorder. 

FAQs about Golden Child Syndrome

Q.1. What causes golden child syndrome?

Answer: The golden child syndrome is mainly caused by the narcissistic parents’ domineering behavior toward their intelligent and genius child for whom they spend money and whatever they want in exchange for fame, name, and loyalty. 

Q.2. Is the golden child jealous of the scapegoat?

Answer: No, the reality is that the scapegoat children actually feel jealous of the golden child’s connection with their parents. The golden child’s parents respect and praise them every now and then. This makes them envious of the golden child. However, the golden child is satisfied with their parents and doesn’t complain or feel jealous of the scapegoat child. 

Q.3. Who has it, a worse golden child or the scapegoat?

Answer: Both the golden child and the scapegoat suffer in their family because of their family members’ behavior. However, the burden and pain of unfailing success worsen the golden child syndrome. It comprises the most domineering behavior of the parents, even more than that of the parents in the case of the scapegoat children.

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Dr. Shefali Oliver
Dr. Shefali Oliver
Dr. Shefali Oliver is a leading expert in the field of mental health. He has been in private practice for over 8 years and has a reputation for providing compassionate and effective care to his patients. Additionally, Dr. Shefali is a strong advocate for mental health awareness and works to educate the public on the importance of seeking help when dealing with mental health issues.

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