How to NOT Raise a Narcissist

A lot of parents who unfortunately have to go through the battle of co-parenting with a narcissist come to me and ask the same question in different ways: How do I not raise a narcissist? How do I stop my children from becoming narcissists? Is there anything that I should be aware of? Are there some things that I should and should not be doing? Well, yes, there are a lot of things that you should be aware of, and I’ll be answering all your questions in today’s episode.

Now, how is a narcissist raised in this specific situation? Before I tell you how not to raise a narcissist, let’s try to understand how a narcissist is raised in your situation, where one parent is extremely narcissistic, authoritative, punitive, vindictive, and abusive, and the other parent is kind, empathetic, and connected. In this situation, what happens is the narcissistic parent keeps abusing, torturing, shaming, belittling, and dehumanizing the child, inflicting deep core wounds. Out of shame, the other parent tries to better the situation, but in a wrong way. What do they do? They unconsciously and unintentionally enable the child, idealizing the child by giving them everything they know they are not getting from the other parent. This normal, kind-hearted, empathetic parent feels a lot of shame within. Why? Because they believe that it’s them who put their child through this hell. Had they left earlier, had they not married the narcissist, this would have never happened. So, what do they do unconsciously? They never say no to the child, they never set any boundaries, they do not help the child process their disregulated emotions in the right way. They’re always trying to make them feel happy, trying to make them feel better in whatever time they get to spend with them. And that creates a sort of distraction, a form of dissociation, which is what a narcissist experiences. The traumatized parent remains in a constant state of survival, always trying to fight the situation but, unfortunately and unknowingly, in the wrong way, always trying to fix the situation by suppressing the shame, by distracting the child from feeling it, or by not properly guiding the child to address the situation in a healthy way. What does this do? It creates an imbalance. The narcissist underindulges, there is no connection, there is no empathy, there is no authenticity, there is no affection, there is no parenthood whatsoever. There’s only control, direct or indirect. On the other hand, if you are this kind of parent, you overindulge, you give everything to the child that they can’t get from their other parent. So, this disorients the child internally. As time passes, you become the doormat of this child. The child takes out their anger on you in unhealthy ways, and because of your own guilt, you’re not able to say no, or you don’t try to put a stop to it. You can’t have boundaries because you’re afraid if you have any boundaries, you are going to hurt the child further, or you are going to lose them; they will leave you and they’ll go to the narcissist. You can now guess what happens: a narcissist is born, who is so deeply broken that your enabling, unconscious, unintentional enabling creates their false self, and they become totally unhinged and erratic.

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