How Narcissistic Parenting Breeds Devastation

December 24, 2016

Ideally, a child is given the freedom to explore and express their individuality so they can develop into a confident and well balanced adult. This nurturing environment prioritizes the needs of the child over the parent without overindulgence. But this is not the case when one parent is a narcissist. Most children are unaware their dysfunctional narcissistic parent as they fully accept the parent’s false perception of reality. However, when critical thinking kicks in around age twelve combined with the increased influence of peer relationships, things begin to change. Healthy parenting views this process as a natural progression of becoming an adult while narcissistic parenting views the transformation as threatening. As a result, the narcissistic parent will either withdraw completely or they attempt to control the teen through degradation or humiliation. But this is just the start. When the teen becomes an adult, the years of narcissistic parenting reveal far more devastating consequences. Using the symptoms of a narcissist as the starting point, here are the results of dysfunctional parenting: Grandiosity breeds criticalness. A narcissistic parent (NP) magnifies their accomplishments to the point the child believes they are super-human. The child desperately tries to live up to the image of the NP. However, when they come close, the NP raises the bar again to keep it just out of reach of the child. Internally, the child becomes overly critical of their actions, believing they need to be perfect. When they can’t reach perfectionism, they shut down entirely and engage in self-harming behaviors. Idealism breeds despair. NPs create their own fantasy world where they are all powerful, successful, brilliant, or beautiful. Children of narcissists are expected to be physical extensions of the NP. So if the child is intelligent, the NP takes the credit. When the child achieves a reward, it is as if the NP got it instead. Since no success is solely at the hands of the child, they...

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