The Narcissistic Mother
The narcissistic mother is cold, distant, unaffectionate, controlling, critical and jealous. She will not accept her child for who they are and will start to mould them as soon as they are born through behaviour modification. Narcissistic mothers shape their children into objects to fit their needs and the child must be perfect for the mother.
In a family where there is more than one child there are usually the ‘golden’ children (idealised) and the ‘scapegoats’ (devalued). The ‘golden’ child may identify with this idealisation and become a narcissist themselves if they also already have the inherent characteristics. The narcissistic mother will almost continually devalue the child she has chosen to be the ‘scapegoat.’ The narcissistic mother will play her children against each other, in what is known as triangulation, and it is common for children of narcissists to be estranged from their siblings. Only children will be idealised and devalued and will fulfill both roles.
She will make her child’s real self feel unseen and unheard. She will project the blame onto the child for everything that is wrong in the relationship between them. The child will internalise the mother’s critical voice and berate themselves as a defence mechanism as they try to regulate their own behaviour to protect them from the harsh attacks of their mother. She will go into terrifying narcissistic rages and may be physically violent. Many narcissists have addictions so substance abuse may be an issue.
She will have romantic relationships with other narcissists or co-dependents. She will allow abusive men to abuse her child/ren. Her relationships with men are likely to be unstable and she will usually have a succession of boyfriends/husbands although some of the relationships may last a few years.
It will take her child years to recover from the devastation of having her as a mother. As an adult they may develop addictions and/or codependency, they may develop a narcissistic, borderline, schizoid or other personality disorder or develop a panic disorder or Complex PTSD.
The Narcissistic Father
Narcissistic fathers have the same characteristics as narcissistic mothers. There will be a lack of boundaries and encroachment into their child’s personal space. Acceptance and approval are conditional. Narcissistic fathers are engulfing and controlling and do not support their child’s real self. The child will be moulded into what the father wishes them to be and is only interested in the child for ‘narcissistic supply‘. He is emotionally cold and will control others with his aggressive moods. Narcissistic men are often workaholics and so they may spend a lot of time out of the house. Children of narcissistic fathers often try desperately to win their father’s approval but it is an impossible task. He will not meet his child’s emotional needs or be someone who can be relied upon.
The narcissistic father may have been very abusive to the children’s mother and perhaps would try to involve the children in this by using triangulation. Triangulation is when one person manipulates a relationship between two people by controlling communication between them and playing one person against another.