24. The child, if outshining the parent, may experience jealousy from the parent.
25. The child is not taught to give credit to self when deserved.
26. The child will ultimately suffer from some level of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and/or anxiety in adulthood.
27. The child will grow up believing he or she is unworthy and unlovable, because if my parent can’t love me, who will?
28. The child is often shamed and humiliated by a narcissistic parent and will grow up with poor self-esteem.
29. The child often will become either a high achiever or a self-saboteur, or both.
30. The child will need trauma recovery and will have to re-parent themselves in adulthood.
Being raised by a narcissistic parent is emotionally and psychologically abusive and causes debilitating, long-lasting effects to children.
It is often missed by professionals, because narcissists can be charming in their presentation, displaying an image of how they wish to be seen. Behind closed doors, the children feel the suffocation of self and struggle with loneliness and pain. The narcissist is not accountable for their own mistakes or behavior, so the child believes they are to blame and that they flunked childhood. Having worked as a mental health provider with thousands of children, as well as the adult children of narcissistic parents, I see the above symptoms again and again. The lifestyles differ, and the stories differ, but they all wave the same emotional banners. It’s quite a list. It takes serious recovery work to get better and feel better.
If you are the other parent, or part of the extended family, and are trying to ward off the effects of a narcissistic parent, you will have double duty as the responsible one.
The best approach is to parent with empathy — the antithesis of narcissism. If you are a divorce professional working with a case that involves a narcissist, help the kids by first really understanding the dynamics of this disorder. Don’t minimize it. Make sure the children are in therapy and are learning assertiveness skills to use with a parent who does not emotionally tune into them. Put the kids first.
Note: Narcissism is a spectrum disorder, so think of it as a continuum ranging from low-level traits that we all have to some degree to a full-blown personality disorder. The higher the level of traits, the more damage gets done to children.
Related Video: Six Kinds of Emotional Abuse by Narcissistic Parents
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Written by Karyl McBride
Originally appeared on PsychologyToday.com
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