Ways to help children if their parent is a narcissist.

Overcoming Narcissist Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.

Watching your own children being emotionally abused and manipulated by a narcissistic parent is heartbreaking and extremely draining. It an extremely difficult position to be in, constantly question yourself what’s the right or wrong thing to do, feeling like no one understands what you and the children are going through.

Here are some ways that will not ease the situation but might help you see it through. If safeguarding got too big and you had to go no contact, or they still see the narcissistic parent.

  • Honestly, give your children the great gift of honesty, it’s hard as most parents tell a white lie. “We have run out of chocolate.” When they are constantly asking for some and you believe they’ve had enough for that day etc. You need to talk openly, age-appropriate, respectfully and honestly, listen to them, let them know their own reality.
  • Educate them, teach your children about manipulation and emotional abuse, again age appropriate, teach them that it’s ok to have their own opinions, fill their self-esteem right you, teach them they’re allowed to love themselves for who they are, teach them about creating their own boundaries and it’s ok to say no. Keep it simple depends on age and keep it real, teach them about perceptions. Teach them about responses and not to react.
  • Role model. Do your best to build them by your own actions, yes this can be difficult to start when the narcissist is playing every game they can to get a rise out of you. It gets easier, focus on the fact the children are watching and learning, Show your children through responses and your actions how to stay out of the drama, show them through your own actions how to observe and not absorb, let them know it’s ok to cry, just not ok to react. Show them empathy, show them self control through your actions.
  • Anger management, express your own anger appropriately, show them how to act when angry, not how to react, talk to them and explain feeling of anger are allowed, it’s all down to how you act during and after, teach them to realise the anger in healthy ways, they can cry, scream or shout it out. Just not to the person who made them angry and not to others, again age appropriate. Show them breathing techniques and how to take deep breaths. Teach them through your own actions, the art of self-control.
  • Reflection. Let them know you understand, listen to them, let them know to face the pain and release it, not keep it locked and hidden, that their feeling towards others actions are normal.
  • Validation, make sure they know their feelings are normal, they are allowed to talk about it.
  • How to love, show them and teach them, true love is give and take, helping each other out, communication, compromise.
  • Safety, make their home with you a place that’s narcissist free, do not allow their negative parent into your home, let them know no matter what they tell you, you’ll do your best to help them, having a narcissistic parent means they need added security, stability and routine.
  • Grieve together, let them know it’s ok to feel and release any grief they feel.
  • Positivity, programme their subconscious to think positively, and their inner critic to talk kindly to themselves. Example If you ever hear them say. “I can’t.” Stop them tell them they can, they either don’t want to which is fine, they need to practice, whatever it is instil in them they can. Let them know when they’ve done great kind things, if they fail to let them know it’s ok we all fail, we just get up and go again.
  • Self-care. Taking care of yourself and your own mindset is vital.
  • Remember your actions need to match your words. If they don’t explain to the children why they don’t.
  • Fill their human needs in positive ways, you can provide love and connection, yet let them connect with as many good people as they can if finances allow finding hobbies and group activities with positive supportive people for more connection, growth, contribution if they feel heard they’ll feel significant. Routines for certainty.
  • As hard as it is when you want to tell them the exact truth, if it’s coming across to negative about the other parent don’t, things like. “It’s ok they just think differently and I’m allowed not to agree.” The other parent is causing enough confusion. The children need one parent that will listen and understand them.

Most parents do these things subconsciously anyway, there is no wrong or right way to parent so long as the intentions are good there is only your way. When one parent is a narcissist we have to make a conscious extra effort. Narcissistic parents are damaging to children’s mental health. Limited contact time for children is best. Keep written diary’s of their behaviour when they’ve seen the narcissistic parent. Get child psychologist in if they need extra support. It’s hard I know, take any steps you can to let the children know the reality, a sense of humour for you all, whatever kind of humour that is.

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