Narcissists are very self-centered human beings, and their actions are all based on their own needs and desires. They have difficulties maintaining good relationships because they care only about themselves and what they can gain from it. So what does this mean when a narcissist has children?
Narcissists, by nature, are incapable of loving. From the outside perspective though, it might seem like just the opposite. Narcissists like to trick you into believing what they want you to believe, and that means if they want you to like them, they will show you what you want to see.
When a narcissist has children, they think of them just as they think of anyone else – like objects. But even worse, because the children were born from them, the narcissist feels that they own them. Because the narcissist went through all the trouble and pain of creating and birthing, now the child is indebted to them. They are supposed to be there to give the narcissist whatever they need, whenever they need it.
If a child has a narcissistic parent, they will have low self esteem and self-confidence issues from the parent constantly tearing them down to gain control and make them feel better about themselves. So when the narcissistic parent actually does give a compliment or show their love, it’s a much bigger deal. Narcissists are very manipulative, and they don’t stop with their children. They see their love as a tool that can be easily taken away and only given back as a reward. Because of this, the child feels it is their responsibility to keep the parent happy, and they will do anything and everything to give them what they want. They know that if they do this, they might actually win over their parent’s approval and finally be loved by them.
This is why narcissistic parents are able to get away with so much. All a child wants is to be loved and cared for, and the narcissist knows this and uses it against them. Narcissists are great at putting on a show and pretending, and they teach their kids to do this too. No matter how much abuse is going on, the child is going to defend their parent because they know that if they do, they might be rewarded. If they do what their parent says, they will love them even more. They might even get a compliment or a hug if they are lucky, and this is all the child ever wants. This is very manipulative and abusive behavior, but it is the way of the narcissist.
If you’re going through a divorce and your spouse is a narcissist, you can expect them to use your children and try to turn them against you. The children are afraid that the narcissistic parent won’t love them anymore if they don’t do what they say, so they feel they have to stick up for the narcissist. This can be very hard to deal with, but know that it is only the result of abuse and manipulation.