Narcissistic Abuse & Children
A parent’s role is to love, protect, support and guide their children. Narcissistic parents do none of those things. They are either absent, devoid of emotion, lacking in communication, with no active involvement; or possessive and controlling, treating their children as objectified extensions of themselves. Narcissistic parents are very dangerous to their children because their abusive behavior can damage mental and physical health. At their core, these parents are always selfish, often cruel, and frequently arrogant aggressors who bully and take advantage of vulnerable children—children who want and need their love.
The safety and wellbeing of children supersede parental rights.
Chronic selfishness and parenting are incompatible.
Narcissistic parents have no respect for children's boundaries.
The child of a narcissistic parent is emotionally orphaned.
A narcissistic parent will publicly boast about a child's achievements while also abusing them in private.
Narcissistic parents often pit siblings against each other.
The child of a narcissistic parent often won’t feel seen or heard, their feelings and reality won’t be acknowledged, and they’ll be treated like an accessory. They will be notably more valued for what they do and for how they serve the toxic parent than for who they are as a person.
No matter how devoted the children are or how hard they try to please, nothing they do or have done ever gets credited to them, and they are forever held in debt or viewed with contempt. Children who experience abuse often don’t understand what is happening and suffer in silence, and the damaging effects of this silent abuse will leave lifelong scars.
Parents or caregivers on the spectrum for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) will generally resent having to tend to a child’s basic needs. They may speak badly about the child, never touch or hold them affectionately, or show little or no regard for the child at all. Narcissistic parents will also easily feel jealous of their children or threatened by their autonomy, especially as the children approach their teen years.
Adult children of narcissistic parents can find themselves trapped between maintaining an unhealthy relationship with an aging, yet disrespectful, stalking, slandering, harassing parent and being judged by extended family, friends and acquaintances if they choose to cut off all contact with the abusive parent. But when emotionally, psychologically or physically abused children grow up, they may have no choice but to end the relationship with the abusive parent.