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How to Cope With Narcissistic Parents

by Contributing Writer

A child who has a narcissistic parent faces a considerable challenge. Often times narcissistic parents are too self-consumed and concerned about themselves to sufficiently meet the needs of their child. Narcissists can easily manipulate their children and create unhealthy living environments.

Woman grabbing her head in frustration.

Read articles about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Understand how narcissism works and how it effects the person who suffers from it. Narcissistic people have a mental disorder that is often difficult for those affected by it to recognize it in themselves. Narcissism is defined as having an over inflated sense of self importance. People with narcissism believe that they are superior to other people and strive for others to admire them. Narcissistic parents may have a low regard for others, while simultaneously possessing low self esteem and easily taking offense to criticism.

Young girl in counseling session.

Join a support group. Talk with peers who are dealing with narcissistic parents. Support groups provide safe environments where participants can relate to similar challenges and discuss methods of coping. Understanding how the narcissistic brain works, talking it out with others and seeing that you are not alone may help you to cope with a narcissistic parent.

Parent and child holding hands.

Support the parent. If you are aware that your parent is narcissistic, support will not only help the parent, but will help you take more control of the situation. Sometimes, to avoid confrontation, you have to take into consideration that your parent does have a disorder. You can do this by not arguing over trivial matters, and attempting to find activities you can share. You can also go to counseling together. A narcissistic parent may not agree that she has this disorder, but she may agree to go to counseling with you. Because of extreme personality differences between a parent and child, counseling may help address conflicts and give the parent tools to recognize her harmful behavior. It may even create a closer bond between you both.

Items you will need
  • Support group
  • Counselor
  • Professional online resources

Warning

  • Even when recognizing that you have a narcissistic parent, remember to care for your health and safety.

Resources

Photo Credits

  • Ned White/iStock/Getty Images