Grandmothers are always there to protect you, cherish you, and make sure that they feed you so much, that you feel like you can’t walk anymore. When parents are too strict, your grandmother comes to the rescue, and makes you feel better, doesn’t she? But what do you do when you have a grandmother who is the exact opposite, that is, a narcissistic grandmother?
A narcissistic grandmother can be a hellish person to deal with, especially if you live in the same house. She can be toxic, insensitive, selfish, and most importantly, extremely hurtful. Just like having narcissistic parents can be a traumatic thing, having a narcissistic grandmother can end up destroying your mental peace, and your self-worth.
And it doesn’t just stop there, it can also negatively affect your children and their mental well-being.
Having a narcissistic grandmother in the family is like having a poisonous spider, who is constantly attacking and poisoning everyone around it. Slowly and steadily, she sucks the life and happiness out of everyone, and leaves behind only pain, trauma and sadness.
Here Are 14 Ways A Narcissistic Grandmother Can Hurt Your Children
1. Wanting to be the “favorite”.
You know you are dealing with a narcissistic grandmother when she forces everyone to make her their favorite, even though she doesn’t deserve it even a little bit. She wants a picture-perfect relationship with her grandkids and expects the parents to believe, enforce and maintain this fantasy.
Being a grandmother, she has a grandiose kind of attitude towards her grandchildren, and also indulges in favoritism, so that everyone competes for her love and attention. This will allow her to be everyone’s “favorite”.
2. Saying negative things behind your back.
Narcissistic grandmothers stay under the illusion that they have the right to criticize, question, and insult your parenting skills whenever and however they want. She also says negative things about your kids directly when you are not there to defend them. In order to make herself better, she scrutinizes them to find faults. \This can become a reason why you may not be comfortable leaving your kids alone with her. A study suggested that saying negative things can significantly impact a child’s mental stability.
3. Being verbally abusive to your children.
Narcissistic grandmothers do not understand love. They don’t learn from their past mistakes. Narcissistic people love stomping others to boost their self-esteem and they tend to display the same behavior to their grandchildren. Verbally abusing them in order to mold them according to their will seems like a plausible option to them. Yelling, name-calling, teasing or using sarcasm are some of the abusive methods they resort to. They attack their self-esteem and confidence to get what they want.
Constantly abusing children verbally can have a significant effect on the child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. It may also hinder their emotional development. The grandmother may not even realize that she is verbally chipping away the child’s self-esteem. A study pointed out that child abuse can cause disordered psychological and developmental problems.
4. Being physically abusive to your children.
Physical abuse seems like a good tool to use to mold your children. A narcissistic grandmother can use physical abuse such as beating, thrashing, spanking, or pinching as a means to discipline her grandchild. They don’t care what is best for your child. They simply want to be recognized as an authoritative figure who can do as she pleases.
A 2012 study pointed out that physical discipline is ineffective and can have a significant impact on the emotional and psychological well-being of the child. It was also found that physical punishment elicits aggression. Hence it is essential to pay close attention whenever your children are at their grandparent’s house to ensure that they aren’t being physically abused.
5. Unwilling to be a part of your child’s life.
Another type of narcissistic grandmother is a neglectful grandmother. She is always unavailable for babysitting and always reserves it for her favorite ones. The neglectful grandmother doesn’t have time to see your child’s pictures or participate in celebrating their achievements.
The consequences of these actions depend on how often your kids visit their grandmother. In case they see her once or twice a year there can be no major consequence.