Do Narcissists raise Narcissists? There are high chance that narcissistic parents may raise narcissistic children, as narcissists are made not born. Let us know the truth further.
A grown-up or an adult might have that understanding and maturity of being in a toxic environment that is harming their mental health. They may be able to detach themselves from such toxic and abusive people by drawing boundaries or separating themselves. But what about children?
Children raised by narcissists are not left with no choice but to live and be raised in a toxic atmosphere. They may be the default victims of narcissistic abuse as they do not have the knowledge of what they are being part of nor the power to protect or defend themselves.
So let us get to the true possibilities of narcissists raising narcissists.
Do Narcissists Raise Narcissists?
When a child is being raised by narcissistic parents, they may lose their individuality and identity in the process as they may always be focused on keeping their parents pleased and finding ways to be acceptable to them. They may also gain some narcissistic traits while being as it is obvious children learn what they observe.
Children raised by narcissistic parents are at a high risk of gaining narcissistic characteristics and traits and becoming narcissistic themselves. Some studies have also concluded that sons raised by a narcissistic mother are at higher risk of becoming a narcissist themselves than daughters.
It is stated by mental health experts, that children raised by narcissists have childhood trauma, which affects their upbringing and also makes the same or even more narcissistic than their parents. Children learn from their parents, so parents would only be passing on narcissistic traits to their children as an inherent quality knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly, by choice or without choice.
Unless the children are guided toward what is right, instead of toxic behavior, there is no way a child will not learn all those narcissistic traits possessed by their Narcissistic parents. Narcissistic parents may be gender biased and treat their sons differently. They would knowingly or unknowingly behave differently towards them.
Narcissistic parents may willingly or unwillingly inflict pain and long-term wounds in the form of psychological trauma through their behavior. People who are the closest to the narcissist bear the most pain from them. Children are always vulnerable and closest to their parents thus they can be easily targeted by narcissistic parents.
Narcissistic parents are lamentable parents and they may never put their child’s needs in the priority. Their selfish, self-obsessed, and egotistic selves may never allow them to prioritize anybody else than themselves.
Narcissistic parents are unavailable emotionally, or even physically to their children, thus they are unable to fulfill their child’s emotional needs. This way the child may either be codependent or be a narcissist.
Though it is not necessary that narcissistic parents might have a narcissistic kid, if they are exposed to an empathetic, positive, and caring atmosphere they may not be narcissistic.
Gradually as the children age, they might start observing or detecting how their narcissistic parent fulfills their selfish desires and needs by other family members in some cases. Those children learn how manipulation, lies, guilt, and cheating can lead to desirable results.
Thus those children start developing a false self that makes them intimidating, aggressive, cunning, and a bully as they try to imitate their parents. They may start applying these with their siblings or other family members to get what they desire. This is one of the ways children inherit narcissistic traits from their narcissistic parents.
In some cases, where children are unable to receive love, compassion, and care from their narcissistic parents, they start denying all their feelings and just focus on one thing to impress their parents to gain their attention and adoration.
They start seeking validation from their parents for the smallest of matters. Such children also develop a fake or a false self which may be dependent on other people’s validation, making them co-dependents.
The Narcissistic Family Legacy
Children raised by narcissistic parents may also be narcissistic. There are a few simple understandings, to understand the obvious whys and obtain answers. Let us know a few reasons,
Being caught up in manipulation and Lies
A Narcissistic family may always maintain an image of a perfect family. The parents who are role models for kids would be living a fake life, where they project an image that they are the perfect parents anyone ever could get, but they may be the most unsuitable candidates for that role.
Narcissistic parents may ask their kids to compete even with their siblings, to gain their rights by hook or crook and portray those things too which they are not.
For instance, they may ask children to project that they are wealthy, whereas, in reality, they might not possess all that wealth. Thus narcissistic parents teach their children to lie to maintain their image. Children of such narcissistic parents may have just observed how they manipulate other family members to gain what they want, hence they start doing the same with their siblings.
Only being loved on conditions
Another reason why children of narcissistic parents may become narcissistic as well is that they might have learned long ago that in order to be loved by their parents, they need to be an extension of their parents.
They may try to imitate their parent’s efforts of being the best and perfect and try to be perfect to gain love from their parents. Some parents want their children to be co-dependent so that they can gain their narcissistic supply from them, while some parents choose to shine and get attention due to the achievements of their children.
Either way, the children end up being extensions of their parents and always fulfill everyone’s expectations.
Adopting Family Values
When a child is being raised in an atmosphere where the emphasis is constantly on being the best in everything you do, to look best, and to worship money may incorporate these values.
Narcissistic parents might always love and pay attention to their children based on how they can gain attention from others by being the best, going to the best schools, excelling in their fields, dressing their best, and so on.
The worth of the child is always measured on the “Success Rate and Results”, thus you may also gain these values from your parents and lead a path to adopting those narcissistic traits from their parents.
What does a toxic relationship between narcissistic parents and their children look like?
A toxic bond or a toxic relationship is where your mental health, emotional health, and overall well-being are compromised. You do not know what a healthy relationship looks like. In the case of toxic parents, the toxicity is not intentional, but it is ingrained in their parenting. Sometimes parents have an inferiority complex over their children, they do not realize this and they keep on torturing their kids.
Sometimes parents unintentionally become toxic and interfere in your life, more than the required amounts as they wish to protect you from the evil world. But they do not realize that they are making the child’s life even more difficult than the rest of the world. Toxic relationships are where no boundaries are understood, and there is a lack of warmth. There are manifestations of selfishness, egotism, poor communication, and a lack of tenderness and empathy.
Children and parents have different bonds, as they play a crucial role in a child’s upbringing.
How to know whether you are raised by a narcissistic parent or you are a narcissistic parent?
Below mentioned are some of the commonly observed traits of a narcissistic person;
- Are abusive both mentally and verbally.
- All conversations begin with you and end with you.
- Controlling and bragging.
- Are emotionally unavailable.
- Arrogance and anger is your first reaction to any problems.
- Hate changes and also cannot take them well.
- Are self-centric.
- Neglects responsibilities.
- Have unhealthy relations.
- Easily irritated and have drastic mood changes and shifts.
- Are mean when your ways do not work out.
- Blame others for your mistakes.
- Lack of sensitivity and empathy.
- Lack self-awareness.
- Always expect more from others.
- Are highly competitive and always expect more.
- Takes advantage of others easily.
- Cannot take criticism well.
- Can be rude and often do not understand and always try to prove their point in every situation, instead of listening.
What are the effects of Narcissistic Parents on their children?
- Always in constant need of approval and praise
- Lack of confidence
- Have the urge to attain perfection to get validation
- Have difficulty expressing themselves
- Have low self-esteem and always live with insecurities
- Have trust issues
- Have Toxic relationships with other people
- Are manipulative
- Cannot take criticism well
- Have Mental health issues
Children raised by narcissistic parents are at a high risk of gaining narcissistic characteristics and traits and becoming narcissistic themselves.
When you have narcissistic parents, your childhood and coming years may be difficult having someone manipulative around all the time. You would be always expected to fulfill their expectations and bring pride to the family even at the cost of your own well-being. You may lose yourself in trying to please narcissistic parents, but sooner or later you might come to realize the toxicity and try to save yourself by seeking healing.
Definitely, you cannot choose your parents or the way they treat you, but you can always find ways to defend yourself and create healthy boundaries. Healing requires self-care, self-compassion, and a lot of patience. Be patient with yourself if you find yourself turning into a narcissist like your parents. Remember everything can be controlled and cured with therapy, healing, and self-love.