Children of narcissists have a tough time of it. The narcissist is very disorganised with their parenting, switching from doting parenting in public, to raging parent in private. This can leave a child very confused about how their parent feels about them and in severe cases, can even be a contributing factor to the child’s own mental health issues in adult life.
My latest videos explores whether children of narcissists are more likely to become narcissists themselves and it is worth watching to see what behaviours are impacting them the most.
I hope you can now see the power YOU have as the non-narc parent to really influence your child’s life in a positive way.
3 Steps To Building Resilience In Children
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate”
- Honesty – be honest with them about what is going on but using age appropriate terms. Children pick up on everything so hiding things from them will only create more insecurity in them. By being honest you are showing that you trust and respect them. You are also giving them the opportunity to ask any questions.
- Educate them – as adults we know that every experience is a lesson to be learnt so start them young and help your child learn from this. You can use art or play therapy to help them explore and ask questions. I also recommend having some books on hand for them to read. Grab your free copy of “Books For Children Of Narcissists“
- Be a good role model – as the quote states “give them something great to imitate”. They will copy you regardless so teach them good skills to imitate. Show them how you implement boundaries and manage your own emotions.
A good rule of thumb that I always recommend is to think about how the narcissist is going to treat them and then do the exact opposite!
Children are resilient and your influence can help them to develop a healthy and strong sense of self. However, they will need additional support along the way, just like you do. Whilst your natural urge may be to leap to their defence, your best approach is to give them the skills to defend themselves. They are going to have to do this for the rest of their lives so it’s important you teach them young.
Finally, do not despair. Plenty of children grow up in dysfunctional and abusive environments and grow up to be wonderfully kind, caring and respected adults. Keep that image of them in your mind, and help them to grow into it.
If you would like any help with co-parenting with a narcissist or any other aspect of narcissist abuse and parental alienation, please do get in touch.