Saving your daughter from Princess Syndrome


Wikipedia described it best: "Princess sickness (or princess syndrome) is a term used in China and Korea to describe a psychological phenomenon affecting young women, especially teenagers, and can be characterized by numerous psychological disorders, including narcissistic personality disorderegocentrism and histrionic personality disorder, consequently resulting in individuals acting like or believing that they are 'princesses'."

Read more: Spoilt brat or pampered princess? 

Okay, so we live in Africa, not Asia, but there seems to be a certain behaviour in many young women, even in third world countries, that represents exactly this: Princess Syndrome. It starts with your typical cute little toddler whom you repeatedly tell, "You're amazing, you're beautiful and you can't do any wrong."

Stop. Stop this now. Because the rest of earth may not see what you see, and even if they did, they might not care nearly as much as you do. She'll still have to work as hard as everyone else, treat people with respect and kindness and she'll have to learn to do things her own way, if you ever want her to be able to adjust to an adult life one day. 

Is your child a Princess?

A girl with Princess Syndrome lives life as a fairy tale, believing that she is the centre of the universe and that earth and its people will protect her and love her no matter what.

Newsflash: Unless she is the daughter of the Queen herself, your precious angel is not a Princess, and you should stop treating her like one.

It's tough out there. The job industry, social groups, the dating pool: these are all parts of life that she'll never truly succeed in until you let her face them on her own, until you let her make mistakes so that she can learn from them and until you let go of the fact that things aren’t always going to be perfect for her.  

What happens to a teen with Princess Syndrome later in life:

A lack of independence:

Always having had people pick up after her and fixing her problems, she may be overly dependent on you, her boyfriend and friends. It's a common results of the many years that parents spent smothering and 'helping' their daughters through every aspect of their young adult life.


Complete and utter disappointment in life when your daughter can't understand why people aren't living up to her expectations and when she has to do certain things or carry out certain instructions that people in the workplace of other environments expect her to.

Unsuccessful dating:

Just like a real Princess, your daughter will believe that any potential partner will come to her rescue and save her from any sort of trouble in life. You often hear these sorts of girls being referred to as ‘high maintenance’ or ‘too demanding’ by men.

Lack of regard for society’s rules and morals.


Every parent wants the best for their child. Shielding and protecting your children is a priority, but it's important that we leave room for our children to learn things on their own and to discover their own independence through their own mistakes.

Teach your kids to know that you're there for them if they need you, but that they are stronger than they think they are and strong enough to face responsibility and life on their own every now and then. 

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

What are your views on the Princess Syndrome? Send us your comment to

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24