Narcissistic parents - the root of all evil, the reason of many a child's screw-uppery, and the cause of seemingly a bajillion dollars worth of collective therapy. You may scoff at the tragic narcissistic tendencies of these poor messed up individuals and shed a tear for their children, but what if... shock horror... what if it was actually... you?
1. You Freakishly Live Through Your Child
You may seem like you've moved on, but secretly you are dying inside from the fact that you never realized your dreams of making the team or getting that scholarship. But hey, don't worry! If you're a narcissistic parent, you'll be too busy living vicariously through your kids to feel the pain.
Instead, you'll be working on crushing them with your boneheaded selfish needs, dreams, and unreasonable pressure by shouting at them like a banshee from the sidelines at soccer practice, from the audience at dance rehearsals, or over their schoolbooks as though their lives depended on it - like the raging narcissist you are. And of course, because you have an ego the size of Dallas, you'll be making sure that the whole world and their dog knows that anything they excel at is because of you and your efforts - not theirs. Heaven forbid.
2. You're Weirdly Threatened by Your Kiddo
You know how as a parent you're supposed to give your child wings? Well you were probably too busy stroking your own ego for that one to register. Instead, your way of parenting involves criticizing and undermining your kids three hundred times a day until they are dizzied and broken by the anarchy of your narcissism. Remember, there's no 'I' in mother but there's two in 'narcissist.'
3. You Have Zero Empathy
As the frenzied narcissist you could very well be, you would rather have a bath in setting concrete than acknowledge your own child's thoughts and feelings over your own. Your child flunked class - how could they do this to you? Your child was upset by someone's behavior today - but I've had a terrible day! Your child's mouse just died - I can't believe it died before our Thanksgiving dinner!
If you're always trying to trump your child's thoughts and feelings with your own, then *NEWSFLASH* this is not a competition, and they're only a child - whereas you are the adult and should... um... know better.
4. You're a Crazy Control Freak
Come one come all! It's time to meet the Narcissistic Parent Puppet Master in a show starring all of your kids! In this thrilling Broadway show, watch your children dance to your tune of what to wear, how to have their hair done, whom to be friends with, which college to attend, and which career to pursue.
In this thrilling tale of longing and adventure, the narcissistic parent wins and the child falls flat on her or his face. You can expect plenty of hissy fits by you, the parent, when the golden child puppet does not follow your carefully considered script, promptly addressed with the stock narcissistic parent phrase, "Why are you doing this to ME?"
5. Everything You Do Is Infallible
If someone could win first prize for having a justification for EVERYTHING, hands down it would be the narcissistic parent. They are the masters at making all their hideous actions seem like they were "doing it for your own good, honey."
Your put-downs will be more sugary than a Krispy Kreme donut, your manipulations will seem like grand acts of kindness, and your guilt trips and blaming and shaming will be slyly fluffed up in a package of concern. You are the number one expert at making your kids look either one fry short of a Happy Meal, or madder than a box of frogs.
6. You're a Big Fat Baby
Wahhhhhhhhh! Sob sob sob! "I sacrificed my whole life for you! I took food from my mouth to give to you!" If that is the sound of you putting on the waterworks and playing the martyr because your child didn't do what you wanted - and now you're wailing and whining at the fact that they don't love you just so you can get your big old babyish way, then know that this screams narcissistic parent like a monster!
Emotionally immature and utterly pathetic, your kids will be quaking in their boots in the shadow of your grudge and at the thought of you getting even with them, which of course, narcissistic parents just love to do.
7. You Think You're the Shizzle
All hail you! You are the most special, arrogant kind of superior being which no other human can come close to. Those around you, especially your poor unsuspecting offspring, are mere mortals who don't deserve to be spat on even if they were on fire. All those who do not meet your standards are as useless as a chocolate teapot, and boy will you be letting them know.
If this is you, time to change your parenting ways and seek help. If this is someone you know - let's spare a thought for the poor children being trampled on by their narcissistic barbarians - oops! - parents.