Narcissistic Parents – The most harmful kind of parent

This well-written article is from::   on Now (blog)

Over the years I have often been asked what is the most harmful thing a parent can do to a child. There are many harmful things a parent can do, too many to point out. It is easier to focus on the kind of parent that does most harm.

The most harmful parents are the parents who have a narcissistic need to think of themselves as great parents. Because of this need, they are unable to look at their parenting in an objective way. And they are unable to hear their children’s complaints about their parenting.

Such parents indoctrinate their children from an early age to think of their parents in only the most positive ways. Any other kind of thinking is considered family treason. If any of their children develop behavioral problems, they see such problems as an accusation of their parenting. Their response is, “Why am I so unlucky as to have this bad seed?” Not for a moment do they ever consider that anything they did might have had an effect on their children.

One family with which I became acquainted had two daughters. The oldest daughter could do nothing wrong. The youngest daughter could do nothing right. Both parents lamented the troublesome nature of their youngest daughter. To both of them, she was a thorn in their sides and an embarrassment to the family. As Mary (the name I’ll give to the youngest daughter) grew up, she was always being compared unfavorably to her older sister. “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” She was constantly being looked at in a negative way. If she told a joke, they laughed at her, not with her, and treated her as if she were stupid to say such a thing.

When she was a preteen, her father, who was a wealthy real estate tycoon, took her on a business trip with him. She was flattered to be brought along, because he had always favored her older sister. He insisted they share the same hotel room, telling her they were family. When she was taking a shower, he walked in and said she shouldn’t be shy around him because he was her father. That night he insisted she sleep in the queen-sized bed with him, and in the middle of the night he began touching her and telling her it was all right because they were family.

When she mentioned this event to her mother, the mother treated the daughter as if she were just being a trouble-maker as usual. “Why would your father do something like that? He’s a powerful man. He could have any woman he wanted, but he has always been totally loyal to me. I want you to apologize for what you just said.” Mary had to repress this incident and she grew up to be a child who doubted her perceptions of things. She remained attached to her father and continued to idealize him as the rest of the family did. But her idealization of her father, her mother and her older sister kept her in a one-down position. Her relationships with men were a disaster as were her relationships with women friends. She distrusted everybody and would sooner or later find a reason to reject them (symbolically rejecting her family).

This describes my mother to a T

Remainder of the article @


18 thoughts on “Narcissistic Parents – The most harmful kind of parent

  1. Janice Wald says:

    I agree narcissistic parents are harmful, shallow, and pass that on to children, those values.
    Thank you so much for following my blog today. I am honored. Nice to meet you.


  2. emmagc75 says:

    Reblogged this on Emmagc75's Blog and commented:

    What would you call a woman who spends hours at the gym everyday perfecting her Arnold Schwarzenegger looking body but has yet to meet or call her daughter’s therapist of 3 months? It’s just sad and pathetic!


        • cherished79 says:

          Bad combo, sorry for you also. I’m still not over her, we don’t talk anymore, she is out of my life and it’s better this way. I kept wishing for a ‘mom’ for years that I knew would never be there for me, and I was a disappointment to her, as she was a disappointment to me. So I guess we’re even.

          Liked by 1 person

          • emmagc75 says:

            Oh wow, that’s terrible. Im so sorry. No silly my Mom was amazing! Sweet, funny, kind, loving and so generous. She lit up a room with her smile n I was so lucky to have her for 32 years.


            • cherished79 says:

              Sorry about that, I’m thinking so negatively these days on narcissistic parents, I thought you were being sarcastic. You were one of the lucky ones, consider yourself blessed and your mum doing what a mother is supposed to do. 🙂


  3. luckyotter says:

    Reading this article was quite triggering, because it tells the truth. It’s terrible the way narcissistic mothers gaslight against their scapegoated children the way the mother here did by berating her daughter for daring to suggest her father was sexually abusing her. Good article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 says:

      A very well-written article, and it describes many situations with parents out there who think they’re wonderful, and question why their kids turned out to be selfish brats. We did this for you, we bought you that…but we didn’t believe when you came to us with a crazy story of being abused. Ruined lives. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ahimsaskincare says:

    I always thought start with yourself so you can give more to other’s, then your family and friends and then the rest of the world! Why be self-centered with family and friends and then nice with stranger’s? It never made sense to me.


    • cherished79 says:

      They want to impress others. When I told them that the neighbor was abusing me, they didn’t believe me first of all, second I had to apologize to him for causing trouble, and thirdly they had him and his wife over for Sunday dinner to keep peace. Talk about a slap in the face. They were more worried about other neighbors finding out, but what about me. It didn’t matter, or so it seemed, as long as they looked ok.


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