Children of Narcissists-Innocent Victims

If we could have picked our parents we wouldn’t have chosen a narcissist as a mother or father. Narcissists cannot feel, care, have conscience or empathy for another human being, even a small child. They are capable of putting on a tremendous polished act but it is falls flat in the truth department. Some narcissistic parents choose a stand out child who is very attractive, bright, gifted in music, dance, art, etc. to be the chosen one in the family. The narcissistic mother or father will mold this son or daughter in his image. This child is treated differently from the others, is given great adulation, no limits on consideration to others and special treatment by the narcissistic parent. In other families the narcissistic parent treats all of the children in a dismissive manner. They are a bother to him/her. They are living puppets who are trotted out for company or who fill the family picture with forced smiling faces. I have known of a narcissistic parent who had a special wing built on his home for the children. Like a king at court they were tucked away in a separate abode and brought into his presence only when they could be used as narcissistic supplies to demonstrate to friends and others that he was a devoted father.

In some egregious cases, the narcissist fixates on battling over the children during the divorce process. He/she doesn’t give a damn about them and has never contributed to caring for them psychologically or emotionally but is caught up in the fight for ego purposes. This is one of the most painful experiences the non-narcissistic parent can experience for her children. I hear from spouses and ex-spouses who are going through this intolerable ordeal. It can be protracted; it is excruciating for the parent who truly loves the children.

We only need one good parent or parent substitute. Some individuals grow up all alone with only bare bones food and primitive shelter. No one pays any attention to them. They have never heard the voice of someone who loves them call their name. They have never felt safe and relaxed—even for one moment. They are scapegoats in the earliest years of grammar school and beyond. They live in a jungle of predatory human creatures.

A grandmother, aunt, a family friend can make all the difference in a child’s solid psychological foundation. If mother is the non-narcissistic parent, most of the burden is on her to provide a consistently loving, secure, predictable environment for her children. Some spouses are left financially vulnerable after the divorce. In some cases the narcissistic ex-husband makes life excruciating by insisting that he is a good father. Custody battles can be extended and this is very painful for the children and the responsible parent. In this crucial situation the non-narcissistic spouse does her best. She begins by keeping the welfare of her children upper most in her mind. Keeping her child’s best interests at heart, she will contact a lawyer who specializes in child custody who will be able to advocate for both of their needs and to help them receive the best possible outcome. In addition, it is essential that she has a strong sense of entitlement of her rights to live in an environment of peace and emotional well being. These courageous women and men are motivated by a strong unwavering love for their children. This is evident in the way they mother and father them each day. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book:Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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