A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proves that the “blame the parents” strategy may not be too far off. Research shows that children who are told they’re special end up becoming narcissists. The study looked at 565 children aged seven through 11 in The Netherlands over the course of a year and a half. The children and their parents were surveyed every six months. Results showed that children whose parents described them as “more special than other children” and as kids who “deserve something extra in life” were more likely to score higher on tests of narcissism than their peers.

MORE: Study: Calling Your Children “Special” Makes THem Narcissistic