What Happens When a Narcissist Has a Baby? (Change In Behaviour Explained)

What happens when a Narcissist has a Baby? As human beings, we all are wired to seek validation and approval from others. However, some people take this need to another level and constantly crave attention and admiration from those around them. These individuals are commonly referred to as narcissists. Narcissistic behavior is often characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others (this includes even their family members), and a constant need for admiration and validation.

When a narcissist has a baby, the outcome can vary widely depending on individual circumstances. There can be various outcomes that may vary depending on the situation and the type of environment the narcissist is providing their children.

When a narcissist has a baby, there can be different outcomes depending on the severity of their personality disorder and the level of support they receive from everyone surrounding them. This article can be a guiding post for all including narcissists themselves, someone who is about to have children with a narcissist, or someone who is referring to this article to gain more knowledge about the topic for any possible reason.

Defining Narcissism

Narcissism has become a catchphrase so fashionable that almost everybody is able to associate either themselves, someone they know, or someone they might have been with. It has become such a trendy and often searched word on the internet. Narcissism is what makes us human beings. Every human possesses these traits of ego, admiration, inquisitiveness, complexity of relationships, self-worth, self-praise, control over situations in life as much as possible, expecting attention from others, some troubles in relationships, rudeness, selfishness, lack of self-reflection, and much more.

The problem starts when people fail to function aptly without involving Narcissism in the day to day functions. This is when Narcissism becomes problematic and people are drawn to the monarchy of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). It is just that people who possess these in more amounts due to certain situations in life, parental pressure, and many more reasons are declared narcissists, and in psychological terms, such people suffer from NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder). They portray these emotions or in this case negative traits in a greater magnitude than others.

Dr. Joni E Johnston, a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist, an author, host, and the producer of a trending youtube channel related to true crimes, suggests that,

"Narcissism is something we all have. A certain amount of narcissism helps us reach for the stars, believe in ourselves, motivate others, and meet our own needs while we are taking care of others; it is the core of healthy self-esteem". 
- Dr. Joni E Johnston

Narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by an intense preoccupation with oneself, self-absorption, and egocentrism. Narcissists view themselves as superior to others and are often obsessed with power, status, and success. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder do not hesitate even once to exploit others for their own good. They have an inflated sense of self-significance, a constant need for attention, and admiration, and a high sense of entitlement. Such people believe that they deserve special treatment with immediate attention from people and also have a grandiose sense of self-importance.

What Happens When a Narcissist Has a Baby? (Change In Behaviour Explained)

It can be said that narcissists usually fail to make good parents as they are mainly focused on their own needs and cannot fully pledge themselves to their children and develop healthy relationships with them. Narcissists tend to focus on perpetuating their own image and pressurize their children to be a perfect version of themselves without any fault. As it is a social belief that perfect people have perfect families and perfect life, thus narcissists always wish to present that they lead a perfect and happy life with their loving families proving that they have stable homes.

But this simply cannot be the deal with a narcissist in reality, they may showcase to society that their life is full-fledged with a perfect family, perfect job, and perfect appearing life, but in reality, they lead a shallow life which is almost imperfect from every aspect. Narcissists do not lead a balanced life and their life is almost influenced by others, hence they are unable to focus on the needs of their family. Neglecting their responsibilities and duties towards their family, they cannot be a good parent to their children thus making their life hard than it already is.

“Children of narcissists learn that love is abuse. The narcissist teaches them that if someone displeases you, it is okay to harm them and call it love.”

– M. Wakefield

When a narcissist has a baby, the question that arises is if this life-changing experience, does it have any impact on the narcissist, or how much effect can this change have on a narcissist’s life.

Narcissistic parents leave a deep impact on their children, as they lack emotional bonds, their love is conditional, achievements are more important than their child, their needs are a top priority than their child’s, no arguments only agreements without knowing the problem, and much more.

Narcissistic parents are almost emotionally unavailable, self-centered, and egoistic, lash out in anger more frequently, have a very low rate of understanding, and blame the child, rather than looking at their fault.

Often it is observed by mental health experts, that the children raised by narcissists have childhood trauma, which affects their upbringing and also makes the same or even more narcissistic than their parents.

It is important to note that each child and parent relationship is unique and whether a narcissist changes their behavior or not will depend on factors such as the severity of their narcissism, their willingness to change, and the quality of bonding with the child. Narcissistic parents may celebrate and cherish the attention that they receive on being new parents. But this attention may not last enough to support their grandiose self-image. Thus this may initiate the unhealthiness of the parent-children bond. As narcissist parents expect a lot more from their children, which creates fear, lack, and dissatisfaction in the child’s mind, thus creating an imbalance in the parent-children relationship ultimately leading to a dysfunctional family.

However, here below presented points are some general ways that the presence of a child can impact the behavior of a narcissist,

Narcissists may view their children as an extension of themselves

When a narcissist has a baby, they may experience a range of emotions and behavioral changes. On one hand, they may see the child as an extension of themselves and become intensely focused on the child’s appearances, talents, achievements, and success ratio. They may also use their children as a source of narcissistic supply.

On the other hand, some narcissists may view their child as an obstacle to their own self-absorption and may resent or neglect them.

Narcissist parents may use other children as a means of control and manipulation

Narcissistic parents may also use their children as a means of control or manipulation, using their vulnerability to shape them into a reflection of their own desires and needs. This can result in the child growing up with low self-esteem, self-doubt, and a lack of independence.

Narcissist parents can hinder their child’s mental and emotional well-being

In severe cases, narcissistic parents may engage in emotional, verbal, or physical abuse toward their children, using their power and control to exert dominance over them. This can have long-lasting effects on the child’s mental and emotional well-being, causing them to struggle with trust, intimacy, and interpersonal relationships.

Narciststsic Parents initially jag in the attention they receive from others for the newly attained parenthood

Narcissistic parents may celebrate and cherish the attention that they receive on being new parents. But this attention may not last enough to support their grandiose self-image. Thus this may initiate the unhealthiness of the parent-children bond. As narcissist parents expect a lot more from their children, which creates fear, lack, and dissatisfaction in the child’s mind, thus creating an imbalance in the parent-children relationship ultimately leading to a dysfunctional family.

Narcissists might not even like the pregnancy phase, as they might have to sacrifice a lot while bearing the child. But when they have the baby they enjoy the flow of attention, care, and validation from others that they get after attaining motherhood. Narcissists love such a kind of attention. They may feel blissful until they realize that the baby has many needs for which their own needs, wishes, and desires are getting side pathed.

A baby is entirely dependent on their parents for receiving the necessary care, love, and nurture, but narcissists are so full of themselves that they can provide the child with necessities like care, love, and desire to nurture. Narcissist has a very short attention span and can only focus on themselves and not on anyone else.

Narcissistic Parents

Children of selfish and demanding parents are not guilty of anything. They have been abused and manipulated into believing that their sole purpose is to make their parent happy. In fact this is a destructive con job, and the guilt rests with the self-absorbed or narcissistic parent.

Glynis Sherwood, M.Ed

Some narcissistic parents lose interest in their children

As the children get older, they stop serving as the sources of adoration and validation. The children become independent and seek their own paths, which may not align with the narcissistic parent’s desires for them. Additionally, as the children grow and develop their own personalities, they may start to question, challenge or defy their parent’s behavior, causing conflict and tension.

Narcissistic parents who lose interest in their children may also move on to new sources of attention and admiration, such as a new partner, or a hobby. They may become more occupied with their own needs and desires, leaving their children feeling neglected and unimportant.

Some narcissistic parents become Helicopter Parents

Some narcissistic parents can become helicopter Parents, who are overly involved in their children’s lives, constantly hovering over them, and in some cases micro managing nearly every aspect of their lives. When they do not lose interest in their children, narcissistic parents just opt for the opposite option and get overly interested in their life and also interfere a lot.

They start believing that their child’s successes are a reflection of their own success, and may become obsessed with their children’s achievements. Helicopter Narcissistic Parents may also be very controlling, making their children completely dependent on them. This type of parenting style can also have many negative effects on a child’s development, as it can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lack of confidence in their own abilities.

Narcissistic parents groom their children to please them

Rather than meeting their child’s needs, nurturing their individuality, and maintaining their emotional well-being, narcissistic parents focus on their own needs and well-being. There is no emotional stability when you live with a narcissistic mother or narcissistic parents. They have constant mood swings and emotional waves that a child is unable to understand. So as the child grows older he/she faces a lack of emotional support and constant emotional manipulation.

Children of NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) parents often tend to bottle up emotions, withdraw from emotional bonding with anyone else, or are emotionally damaged and lack to understand others. They always are forced by their narcissistic parents to live up to their expectations and put their parent’s needs before their needs. Children of narcissistic parents may suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, and feel unfulfilled in their relationships and careers.

Do Narcissists Love Their Children?

On one hand, having children seems like a strenuous task to a narcissist as they never really wish to take responsibility. But not all narcissists feel the same. On the other hand, narcissists need children to gain control and fulfill certain desires as they believe that their children are extensions of their own selves. All people are different, in the same way, not all narcissists do not want to have children. A narcissist’s parenting, warmth for their children, nurturing, positiveness, unconditional love, and many such parenting techniques may be questionable and would be different than what is normally expected from parents.

To a narcissistic parent, children are a real means to seek their supply and control them like accessories rather than viewing them in a positive light or appreciating them for whom they are. Thus they expect their children to play all roles, they would expect their children to be their friends when they need a friend in need, and they would consider their children as their punching bags, so whenever they feel down they would just blame their children.

Narcissists are mainly not aware of how they are impacting their children. They are always overconfident regarding their parenting techniques and always overestimate their parenting skills. Narcissists usually feel disappointed, embarrassed, and vexed by their kids. If children do not tend to behave according to their parent’s expectations, they might be so disappointed in them, that they might cut off them or stay disconnected from them.

Narcissists believe that they completely own their children and do not visualize them as separate entities. They do not consider that children also may have their own personalities, and treat them as their personal objects or personal punching bags. A narcissist birth their children so that they can use them for obtaining their supply, and to fulfill expectations and needs that they were not able to.

A narcissist may just pretend that they are the best parents, the most loving, and ideal parents that their children that can look up to. They can pretend to love, but their actions would not match their words. No parents could not love their children, but narcissistic parents would only shower love on their children when they require something from them or when they have not Narcissistic parents are so good at playing the pretend game of best parenting, that they can make believe everyone and enhance their image as the best parents ever. But in reality, they might not be the best parents because they do not know the concepts of ideal or requisite parenting.

Can narcissists be good parents?

There is no such definition of ideal parenting, but parents need all kinds of approaches to handle and make their children better versions of themselves. But the most important factors or emotions to be good parents are love, affection, care, understanding, patience, and kindness. Even when a child makes mistakes, then as a part of good parenting, parents would not try to shame their children or would not cut them off completely, instead, they would lay on some form of punishment and related consequences.

No parenting method can be presented as the best method, or no parents can be perfect, but yes a good parenting method includes the parents recognizing the roles they should play to brighten their children’s lives and even teach them the differentiation between being a good empathic person and being evil and corrupt.

But narcissists do not see where they are going wrong with their parenting and thus have many consequences which their children suffer. Narcissists consider themselves to be the best parents and they can take all advantage of their children and do not identify their children as separate identities. Narcissists cannot accept their children as they are, instead, they always keep on forcing them to exceed their skills and outperform their caliber to perform their best. And when children cannot do so, narcissistic parents make them feel guilty, and shameful, embarrass them, and compare them. They might even loathe and execrate their children for not being perfect.

Narcissistic parents would never be able to understand their negative impact on their children and why they might be facing traumatic life experiences because of them. They would never accept their fault or their lack of parenting skills and would keep on blaming their children for being so insufficient and incapable.

Very unlikely and rare cases positive changes that may impact narcissistic parents’ behavior toward their children

Though these changes are very much unlikely or are possible in rare cases but it is not impossible to prove that some narcissists might change for their children,

  • The child becomes a source of attention, consequently making the narcissist parents more involved with parenting activities and become even protective of their children. They may become more nurturing and provide an emotional connection with their child.
  • The shift in priorities may lead to a decrease in the grandiose behavior of the narcissist, which can be positive.
  • The arrival of a child can create a sense of responsibility in some narcissistic parents, where they feel the need to change their behavior. They may become more self-aware and begin to realize their negative impact on the child and the family. The increased willingness to change can lead to a more harmonious family dynamic, where the narcissist may start to prioritize family and maintaining and nurturing those relationships.

Even though narcissistic parents may achieve a few changes and may work toward the betterment of their relationships with their children, there are a few traits that a narcissist might not be able to change; maintaining control over their children and lacking empathy for their children.

Important Takeaways

In summary, having a child can lead to a shift in behavior for a narcissist. The arrival of a child can cause a shift in their priorities, a decrease in grandiosity, and an increased willingness to change. However, it can also provide an opportunity for them to exert control and continue to lack empathy.

Overall, the impact of having narcissistic parents on the child can vary greatly depending on the severity of the parent’s narcissism and how they choose to interact with their child. It is important for narcissistic parents to understand where they lack in parenting with the help of professional help and receive therapies to work toward healing.

It is important to remember that whether a narcissist changes their behavior or not will vary depending on various factors, and the best approach to creating a healthy family dynamic would be to seek professional help and support. Narcissistic behavior can be complex, and seeking advice from mental health professionals can help in creating an environment where both the parent and child can develop positive and healthy relationships.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

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