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In the contemporary realm of dating and relationships, the term “narcissistic” has garnered significant attention. While you may have encountered or experienced a relationship with a narcissistic partner, have you ever pondered the concept of narcissistic parents? This phenomenon involves certain parents who, by merely bringing a child into the world, feel an unwavering entitlement to every aspect of their child’s life, extending their influence even to the act of breathing.
Are you wondering if you’re a narcissistic parent or does someone you know behave like one but you aren’t sure? Here’s how to tell when a parent is showing narcissistic tendencies.
1. Making a Child an Extension of Themselves
Some parents make it their life ambition to achieve everything they didn’t through their child. The child isn’t allowed to follow any of their dreams and passions unless they first fulfill what the parent wants.
You’ll often hear them say to their kids things like, “You can be whatever you want AFTER you become this or that.”
2. The Threatened Parent
A normal parent wants their child to succeed and even supersede the parent’s successes. On the other hand, a narcissistic parent feels threatened when their child seems to be doing better than they (the parent) ever did.
Such a parent may even try to orchestrate the child’s failure. They often remind them that they aren’t good enough and will never be.
3. Parent with a Bloated Ego
Have you seen a parent reduce their children to objects to be used and abused, not beings worthy of love? Then you have seen a narcissistic parent in actions. Such parents have exaggerated high esteem and believe no one else can match up.
This behavior tells the kids that they (the parent) are way better than them and they are only good for making the parent’s life better. These parents will sadly find ways to remind their child that any money or effort they spend on them is a waste of time; they just aren’t worth it.
4. They are Manipulative
Parenting is not a dictatorship; as kids grow older, there will be some level of deliberations with the kids. Good parenting allows the kids to make decisions with guidance.
Narcissistic parents use manipulation to get their kids to do their bidding. They will deny the children a privilege unless they do what they [the parent] want.
You want me to pay for your schooling? You have to take the courses I choose.
5. Constant Blaming
Everyone is responsible for their actions, but for a narcissistic parent, it’s the child’s fault. Parents make mistakes, and apologizing is an acceptable action.
Some parents, however, blame children for the parents’ blunders, missteps, and negative emotions.
“You’re the reason I’m unhappy.”
“You ruined my life.”
6. Guilt Tripping
It’s a parent’s role to do things for the child, but a narcissistic parent will go ahead and make the child feel like they should be worshipping the parent for everything they do for them.
You’ll constantly hear phrases like, “I do ALL this for you, you’re ungrateful.”
7. Ceaseless Shaming
Shaming a child into submission, obedience, or hard work is a common trait of narcissistic parents. Narcissism tells a child that any less-than-perfect trait on their part is an embarrassment to the family.
“If you don’t get into the Ivy League School, you will be an embarrassment to me and the family.”
8. No Empathy
Children have big emotions, and part of parental love is to help them navigate them, even when they don’t make sense. Narcissistic parents are not mindful of their kids’ emotions and will even invalidate them.
For such a parent, the only real emotions are the parent’s emotions.
9. They Expect To Be Cared for Forever
A child is never really free of a narcissistic parent, they [the parent] expect to be their responsibility forever.
While children caring for their parents is expected and wonderful, such parents lay unreasonable expectations on the kids and expect them to move impossible mountains for them.
10. They’re Selfish
Most parents would literally die for their kids, but not narcissistic parents. A narcissistic parent is obsessed with their own needs, hobbies, career advancement, and everything surrounding them, except their children.
You’ll see this in most absentee mothers and fathers who almost forget they brought kids into this world.
11. Comparing Kids to Others
Kids are different; some are smarter and more talented in certain areas than others. In reality, they all have their own unique talents and strengths. A fair parent understands this and deals with the kids as they are. Not so with a narcissist. They constantly remind the kids that they aren’t s good as Johnny from down the block.
Such a kid grows up thinking they aren’t good enough and may have enormous self-esteem issues.
The sad part thing is these parents do not think they are wrong in any way.
12. Twisting the Truth
Narcissistic parents will twist the truth to suit their own wants and needs- even at the expense of their children. For example, they may tell their children that they are the cause of all family arguments. This makes them feel powerless and trapped in an unhealthy relationship.
13. Constant Invalidation
When most sentences are modified with a “but” or “would” in the middle, it might be a sign that a parent is constantly injecting their opinions where they aren’t helping or needed- implying that their way is better.
14. Do As I Say
There’s not room for discussion with a parental “my way or the highway” mentality. Whether it be an opinion, request, or discussion about the future, these parents want to have nothing to do with it.
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