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'A narcissistic parent is typically exclusively and possessively close to his or her child...may be especially envious of a child's growing independence'.
Whereas the "good-enough" parent is confident enough to allow a child's autonomy, 'a pathologically narcissistic parent...[may] need to extract a specific performance from the child to glorify [him/]herself'. Thus for example 'the nonmirroring father who was preoccupied with his own self-enhancement and...insisted on being looked up to and imitated' may produce a son who 'began to see himself as a "puppet" of his father' - one who 'learned early in life to put other people's emotional needs ahead of [his] own'.
According to American psychologist Alan Rappoport, narcissistic parents "demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents’ emotional needs. (For example, a narcissistic father who was a lawyer demanded that his son, who had always been treated as the 'favorite' in the family, enter the legal profession as well. When the son chose another career, the father rejected and disparaged him)".. Such a 'narcissistic parent likes to take credit for his child's successes', and in the face of the child's independence 'may experience a sense of loss, the child having served as an important source of self esteem'.
"These traits will lead overly narcissistic parents to be very intrusive in some ways, and entirely neglectful in others. The children are punished if they do not respond adequately to the parents’ needs. This punishment may take a variety of forms, including physical abuse, angry outbursts, blame, attempts to instill guilt, emotional neglect, and criticism. Whatever form it takes, the purpose of the punishment is to enforce compliance with the parents' narcissistic needs."
'Nina W. Brown, in her book Children of the Self Absorbed, provides specific checklists for readers to "identify a parental destructive narcissistic pattern"'. She suggests examining 'their parents' behaviour in the past...whether they turn every conversation to themselves, constantly demand attention, fish for compliments, fail to listen, use possessions without asking, find laughing at themselves hard, exaggerate and make demeaning comments about their children'.
'Narcissistic parents give rise to narcissistic offspring because [of] their inability to engage emotionally with their children's needs'. However 'only a minority of the children of narcissistic parents become narcissists...but MOST narcissists had one or more narcissistic parents or caregivers'.
- Stephen E. Levich, Clone Being (2004) p. 89
- David Stafford & Liz Hodgkinson, Codependency (London 1995) p. 41
- Salmon Akhtar, Good Feeling (London 2009) p. 86
- Heinz Kohut, How Does Analysis Cure? (London 1984) p. 183
- Joseph Glenmullen, Prozac Backlash (New York 2000) p. 278 and p. 266
- Rappoport, Alan, Ph. D.Co-Narcissism: How We Adapt to Narcissis. The Therapist, 2005.
- Levich, p. 31 and p. 91
- Samuel Vaknin, Malignant Self Love (2003) p. 95
- Simon Crompton, All about Me: Loving a Narcissist (London 2007) p. 120
- Crompton, p. 120
- Crompton, p. 119
- Vaknin, p. 95
- Gardner, F 'To Enliven Her Was My Living':Thoughts On Compliance And Sacrifice As Consequences Of Malignant Identification With A Narcissistic Parent British journal of psychotherapy Volume 21 Issue 1, Pages 49 - 62 (2006)
- Brown, Nina W. Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents (2008)
- Campbell, Lady Colin Daughter of Narcissus: A Family's Struggle to Survive Their Mother's Narcissistic Personality Disorder (2009)
- Donaldson-Pressman, S & Pressman, RM The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (1997)
- Golomb, Elan Trapped in the Mirror - Adult Children of Narcissists in their Struggle for Self (1995)
- Hotchkiss, Sandy & Masterson, James F. Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism (2003) - see Chapter 9 - The Narcissistic Parent
- McBride, Karyl Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (2009)
- Miller A The Drama of the Gifted Child, How Narcissistic Parents Form and Deform the Emotional Lives of their Talented Children (1981)
- Payson, Eleanor The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family (2002) - see Chapter 5