The narcissistic parent is selfish, driven and determined to be the centre of attention at all times. The narcissist treats the children as though they are mere extensions of themselve, not individuals with seperate, beliefs, morals, idea and opinions. Instead the child is to believe what the nacissist believes, behave as the narcissist wants them to behave, and to do exactly what the narcissist asks them to do. If the child goes against the desires of the parent to be their extension, the child could very well be outcast.
Characteristics of the narcissistic parent vary considerably. However, the general consensus is that narcissist’s are obsessively preoccupied with themselves. Absolutely everything revolves around their emotional state, their insecurities, and the activities which are of importance to the narcissist.
Narcissists have a ‘sense of entitlement’. This in itself is the hallmark trait of narcissism – and a major reason why narcissist’s are so damaging to their children.
Narcissists believe they are entitled to:
Narcissist’s honestly believe that they are entitled to special treatment, they can do whatever they like without consequences, and that social norms and boundaries do not apply to them. They have absolutely no problem asserting this apparent human right to be the dominant being in the room, and the only dominant being in the room, to those around them.
However, the behaviour of the narcissist becomes especially devastating when there are children involved. The years of damage done to these little people is often irreparable, and will travel with them well into adulthood.
The narcissist is extremely arrogant. They perceive themselves as being superior to other people, and better in every way.
Complete lack of empathy
Narcissist’s have absolutely no empathy. It is not uncommon for narcissistic parents to not even comfort their child when they are in physical pain.
Narcissist’s can only think about their own distress. If the child is upset because they are frightened, nervous, or in pain; the narcissist will often appear to be completely annoyed that the child has needs, and requires their emotional support.
Feelings often mesmerise narcissists, and also confuse them. Narcissist’s don’t experience a wide variety of feelings; and are often limited to rage, anger and jealousy.
When the child becomes upset, they are often told that they are being ungrateful, a naughty child, or a troublemaker. There will be absolutely no comfort for this child. Instead, they will most likely be rejected in their time of need, and made to feel bad because they dared have a feeling.
Talks about themselves all of the time
The narcissistic parent talks about themselves all the time. Even if the conversation doesn’t start out about themselves, it will always end up back in that direction.
The narcissistic parent will engage in:
It is not uncommon to be on the phone with a narcissist for two hours or more without getting a word in.
Demanding of all of the attention
The narcissistic parent will often create drama in the lives of the children, and the enabling parent just to get some attention. If one of the children is getting too much attention from the enabling parent, the narcissist will often become jealous, and envious of the child for having a good relationship with the other parent.
It is not uncommon for narcissistic parent’s to:
Critical of their children, day in day out
The narcissistic parent is critical of the children day in and day out. The children continually hear how bad they are, how demanding they are, and how rude they are. The narcissist will often slot very subtle, sly remarks into the conversation- even at times when the parent and child are having a lovely time. On these occasions, the parent will throw in a sly nasty remark, belittling the child, just as a subtle reminder for the child to know their place, and to never get too comfortable.
Child as an extension of the narcissist
The child of a narcissist does not have their own identity, and it unlikely that they will become their own person ever; even in adulthood, unless they entirely remove themselves from the narcissist at some point.
Children of narcissist’s are complete extensions of the narcissist. They must believe what the narcissist says to be the truth, adore the narcissist’s ideas – and share and believe in their ideas or values. The child never learns to completely seperate themselves from the narcissist, or anybody else.
The children continuously need to do regular risk assessments of what they are about to say to the narcissist, before they even speak or act.
In adult life, the children of narcissist’s can often become overly sensitive to the moods of others, hyper-vigilant, peacekeepers; and may even spend their lives trying to please everybody else around them.
Children as bad, and the reason for all of the narcissist’s problems
The narcissistic parent consistently takes their anger our on their children. It is not uncommon for the narcissist to say things to children such as:
The narcissist is always right, and cannot accept a difference opinion. If the child challenges the narcissist, they are often raged at, psychologically derailed – and, in some extreme cases they may even be asked to leave the premises.
Becomes envious of the child’s independence
Being a young adult in a punitive, narcissistic house – hold can be very difficult for the child of a narcissist, and even impossible to maintain.
The parent is often domineering, interfering – and may even try to stop their children from having intimate partners. The parent often becomes more and more dominant in their child’s life than ever before, once they realise they are losing their control over the child. As the child becomes more and more independent, the parent literally tries to become a part of the child.
Children of narcissist’s often deny their natural desire to want to have a partner, because they know all hell will break loose once the parent finds out.
The fear of telling the parent about having a partner can almost be emotionally paralysing to the adult – child. The narcissistic parent will instantly rise to their feet and begin pacing the room wondering if the person is good enough, why their child needed a partner in the first place, and why they had to choose this one.
It is not uncommon for these parents to absolutely panic and lose the plot when their adult child begins to start dating.
In fact, any decision made by the narcissist’s adult child may well be questioned, probed at, picked to pieces – and be deterred from by the narcissist’s adult child, towards the end of the conversation.
These young adults often panic while informing their parent about their new job, the new partner, the new car, or the decision to defer from uni; all due to the absolute interrogation from the parent.
These parent’s often stalk their children when they go out and have a drink, look for them when they go out with friends, hunt them down if they stay out too late, and ring endlessly until they come home.
Narcissist as parent
Narcissistic parents often see their duties as parents in two different ways.
Some narcissists will:
The other extreme is the narcissist who:
Separates people into pairs
A narcissistic parent views everything in black and while; there is no grey area. This lack of grey means that wherever there are two people, there will always a ‘good,’ and a ‘bad’ person.
The narcissist will never deal with their grievances with their children directly, like healthy parent’s do. Instead they will discuss with every other member of the family the problem they are having with their child. This forces the other person to become a part of the triangle.
often, the parent has only told the other children a very small amount of information in regard to what is going on. They may have lied, exaggerated, and belittled the other sibling for no good reason. Triangulation depends on one person sitting in the middle controlling the information flow.