Even in parenthood, narcissists want all the glory for themselves.
In most cases, the only scenario where they would be happy to see their children thrive is if they could benefit from it. In other words, narcissistic parents view their kids as yet another opportunity to present themselves in the best way possible.
When it comes to children’s personal growth, parents with narcissistic traits would actually sabotage their offspring’s development into young adults. What’s more, they would do it intentionally because they can’t risk raising someone who would grow up to be better than them.
Narcissistic parents would do everything in their power to stop their children from becoming independent adults.
Unfortunately, not all mothers and fathers love their kids unconditionally and are willing to go above and beyond to support their dreams. Some perceive the juveniles as they see everyone else – people who sooner or later would try to take advantage of someone else. And as the ones closest to their sons and daughters, narcissistic parents fear their light may soon be deemed by their own descendants. That’s why they would do whatever it takes to make sure their children won’t become more independent, more powerful, and more influential than them.
Despite the common knowledge that the parents’ love is essential for the healthy development of a child, some parents seem to miss the point. They see their own children as nothing but a part of their play. Therefore, they treat them no differently than they treat everyone else around them. Whenever something goes wrong, they always have an excuse or blame it on someone else. And whenever something goes right, they find hundreds of reasons why they were the only reason for the success.
To belittle their children’s achievements, narcissist would often ignore them.
As long as narcissistic parents don’t see a way they could benefit from the success of their kids, they would intentionally overlook it. If there isn’t anything in for them, they will act as if nothing significant has happened.
By purposely belittling their children’s accomplishments, while failing to consider their feelings, narcissists teach the youngsters that no matter what they do, it would never be enough. This way, they hinder them from understanding the real value of their achievements, as well as the difference between good and bad.
Eventually, the boys and girls growing up with narcissistic parents learn only how to please their needs and interests. Moreover, they develop as co-dependent individuals, as they were forced to satisfy someone else’s priorities throughout all of their childhood.
What are the two major types of interests narcissists have in their children?
People with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) often maintain this type of toxic behavior throughout all of their lives. It is always someone else who has to deal with the consequences of their actions. Being unable to recognize their desperate need for help, narcissists choose to blame others for their misery. In many cases, it is their kids who pay the price.
There are only two scenarios in which narcissistic parents take interest in their children:
- If they constantly provide them with attention and clearly express their co-dependency.
- If their successes contribute to the picture-perfect image their parents have created for themselves.
In the narcissists’ minds, their kids, similar to their material possessions, wouldn’t exist without their personal influence. They believe that every single achievement their descendants accomplish happens because of them. And if their children try to stand up for themselves and justify their own success, these toxic parents play the “I was the one who raised you, so you should be grateful” card. This way, they keep the cycle of dependency from breaking.
The children of narcissists are condemned to live up to their parents’ expectations.
But the sad truth is that these expectations can never be met. No matter how much effort they put, it will never be enough to satisfy their demanding parents. Regardless, they would still continuously try to serve their mothers and fathers’ needs, even if it costs them their self-esteem and affects their relationships with other people.
The most shocking thing is that narcissists have no idea they are damaging both their children’s present and future. And even if they did realize it, they wouldn’t care, as they have zero sense of empathy and compassion in their mindsets.
What is more, if their own kids, even as adults, dare to confront them directly about their manipulative behavior, they would most probably lash out and unleash their furious side. This creates a toxic environment in which the child is in danger of becoming a helpless, confused individual with serious dependency issues. Since his or her achievements are met with indifference by the parent figure in their life, they can hardly ever enjoy being in a favorable position.
Narcissists find being in control much more important than being there for their children.
One of the main traits of most narcissists is their longing for control. They want to pull the strings of everyone around them, including their children, at all costs. The second they feel like they are losing their power, they are willing to do anything to get it back. Their lack of empathy definitely plays a significant role in the way they treat the people in their orbit.
When it comes to their kids – the beings they should love and care for the most in the world, many narcissists don’t bother to treat them differently. This clearly displays they are suffering from severe mental issues. That’s exactly what NPD is – a mental illness that should not be overlooked.
However, they are easy to be hated and deemed as bad people because of the remorseless way they carry themselves. They never apologize for their mistakes, they never take responsibility for their actions, they manipulate everyone around them, and they cut off the ones who no longer serve them in the blink of an eye. In their minds, the world revolves around them, and there is not a single person more powerful than them. Of course, someone who is not aware that this type of behavior is a personality disorder would despise them.
But their own children, with their natural sense of affection and compassion for their parents, are not in the position to simply stop communicating with them. They can’t just run away and never come back. So they are forced to face the consequences of their mentally struggling mothers and fathers for most of their lives.
Is there a way to break the toxic cycle?
Reducing contact or even cutting off the narcissist in your life is perhaps the most obvious thing to do. However, it’s definitely not an easy journey. Trying to minimize your interactions with such an abusive person while also struggling with your own emotional damage, which they have caused, is undeniably difficult. But having the slightest chance to recover from the trauma and start living a healthy life is worth the effort.
Just remember that taking action and standing up for yourself in such a sensitive situation should never be about seeking revenge. Instead, it should be about liberating yourself from the toxic influence you have been a victim of and letting go. Only then will you be able to break the cycle of being involved in dysfunctional relationships and gain the strength to have control over your life.