There are as many parenting styles as there are people,
so many of these styles can be divided into broad categories
such as narcissistic,
authoritative and authoritarian.
Today we are focusing on narcissitic parenting.
What is a narcissistic parenting style?
Narcissistic parents tend to be very possessive over their children.
And this parenting style is sometimes also referred to as helicopter parenting
Narcissistic parents often feel threatened by
or even envious of the child’s growing independence.
Consciously or unconsciously,
these parents believe that the child is there to fulfill the parents’ wishes and needs.
You might think of the certain pushy kind of Soccer Mom, or pageant parent.
This parental behavior can have far-reaching effects on the child.
1. Self blame.
Children of narcissistic parents often think that they are the problem,
because the parents only pay attention
to their child’s mistakes and their own problems.
The children start blaming themselves.
This can also function as a self-preserving mechanism to hold out hope.
They think, if I fix myself, the situation will get better.
If I do well, my parents or carers will be nicer to me.
Children that have been raised with the narcissistic style,
often have trouble dealing with their feelings.
and can get very emotional over minor occurrences.
2. Insecure attachment.
You might have heard of the attachment theory,
which attempts to discribe the dynamics
of interpersonal relationships between humans.
A large part of the attachment style
is determined by the relationship children developed with their care takers.
There are three main types of attachment:
anxious or insecure,
Narcissistic parenting often results in insecure attachment,
which has two subtypes.
An insecure avoidant style is characterized
by an avoidant nature,
where children think,
I’ll never risk letting myself get hurt again.
The other subtype is an insecure anxious attachment
which is characterized by an attitude
that more or less chases after the secure connection
and causes children to think:
Why don’t they like me?
Why won’t anyone pay attention to me?
3. Extreme emotional independence
Some children might react to narcissistic parenting
by abandoning emotional attachment altogether.
They go on to solitary distrusting adults
and have difficulty forming close personal connections.
4. Extreme nurturing.
Some children might even go the complete opposite way,
turning into extremely nurturing individuals.
This could possibly be caused by an unconscious desire
to vicariously experience the care and wants they didn’t receive themselves.
Children that have eperienced an extreme form of narcissistic parenting
often struggle with these results for life
in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder.
They might have invasive thoughts of emotional abuse,
experience severe emotional numbness,
or undergo other symptoms of PTSD.
This effect is particularly prevalent among children
that also experience physical abuse.
6. Becoming narcissistic.
This is an extreme case of — if you cannot beat them, join them.
Some children raised by narcissistic parents react by thinking
I’ll make sure I become so good at everything
that nobody can make me feel unimportant again.
People who do this go to extremes
to focus on themselves and their own achievement
becoming narcissistic themselves.
And those are the six major effects of narcissistic parenting.
Have you ever experience narcissistic parenting?
How do you think it effected you?
If you’d like, you can share your story in the comments below.
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