If you have been a victim of narcissistic parents, you know it is difficult to deal with them. They have a way of making you feel powerless like you’re a child again and that you are never good enough for them. If you have had a difficult relationship with your parents and have picked up some unhealthy habits from them, then you should never become a parent yourself. That’s what this blog will talk about.
This article will look at why narcissists should never be parents, how to tell if a narcissist parented you, how to parent your kids to avoid narcissism, and how to help your kids heal from being parented by a narcissist.
What does a parent with narcissism look like?
What is a Narcissist parent? A parent who uses their children as emotional scapegoats and uses them to play out their fantasies is a narcissist parent. A narcissist parent will use their children to control an ex-spouse.
They will lie to their children about the other parent, triangulate their children’s loyalty, and pit them against the other parent. A narcissist parent is an emotional abuser, and this kind of parenting can leave deep scars on a child for the rest of their lives.
Sings of a Narcissist Parent
- A Narcissist parent can be loving and caring at times, but they will always have a hidden agenda.
- They are not the perfect parents you think they are.
- They do not know how to communicate their feelings to their children.
- Narcissistic parents may show signs of affection in public, but it is another story behind closed doors.
- The Narcissist parent is the one who always has to be right, and they can’t tolerate any disagreement or criticism.
- These parents will often put down other people to feel better about themselves — you’ll see them doing this.
- An over-involved parent who demands attention and is jealous of the child’s time with other adults
- Parents with narcissism are often more focused on their own needs than the children.
- Their parenting style is sometimes described as “authoritarian” or “overbearing.”
- A parent with narcissism may have an inflated sense of self-importance, leading them to think they know best for their children.
Consequences for children of Narcissistic parents
Narcissistic parents view their children as objects and extensions of themselves rather than whole individuals in their own right. This can lead them to make decisions that are damaging to their children in both the short and the long term.
Narcissistic parents focus on their desires and needs without regard for the child. They may focus on the child’s appearance, abilities, performance, popularity, and academic progress and ignore their wishes, feelings, and needs.
Narcissistic parents often view their children as an extension of themselves and may even use the child to meet their own needs. They may, for example, use the child to bolster their self-esteem by focusing on the child’s talents or accomplishments or use the child as a companion to fill their own lonely or empty life.
Children of narcissists often develop traits of narcissism. I explained this in my other article, Are Narcissists born or made? This makes them very vulnerable in relationships and often go on to be narcissistic themselves.
Narcissistic traits are also usually caused by mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and addiction. Children of narcissists are often confused about why they feel the way they do and why they find themselves in relationships with narcissists in adulthood.
How to forgive your parent for being a narcissist?
If your parent is a narcissist, you’re in for an emotional roller coaster. Growing up and living with a narcissistic parent, you can become emotionally deprived. You’ll want to forgive your parent and move on with your life, but it’s challenging to let go of the pain and hurt you’ve experienced. You’re left with lingering anger, hurt, and resentment. Here are some practical steps:
- Learn more about Narcissism.
- Accept this reality that Narcissist parents won’t change.
- Seek professional help for guidance.
- Create healthy connections around yourself.
- Place boundaries.
Narcissists Should Never Be Parents
Narcissists can never be good parents because they lack empathy and have a very low capacity to love. The fact that narcissists are not capable of loving other people means that they will never be able to provide their children with the love and support they need.
There is no way a child can develop trust, loyalty, or intimacy with a parent who lacks these qualities. This causes many problems in the relationship between parents and children.
Narcissistic parents do not feel any guilt when behaving destructively towards their children because they believe that it is their right to have everything at all times and without any form of sacrifice.
Many narcissistic parents behave in this way simply because they do not care about the feelings of others, which is why they tend to hurt those around them, including their children. They will grow up Narcissists.