Although even the best parents have unruly children, could the most difficult children simply be responding to a difficult parent? Psychology Today recently presented a new and possibly eye-opening piece on the correlation between unruly children and narcissistic parents, written by therapist and author Karyl McBride, PhD.
In her book, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers McBride delves into the deeper psychological damages found in many ‘difficult’ children.
Through her extensive experience with parent-children relationship she posits, “The cornerstone of narcissistic parenting is lack of empathy and the inability to give unconditional love. Narcissists do not tune into the emotional world of their child… Narcissists worry more about what the child does rather than who the child is. They see their kid’s behavior as a reflection of them.”
She continues, “I’m not so sure we have “difficult children.” Every “difficult looking” child I’ve seen, has had a horrendous story to tell about their life….If we want to make a difference, it is important to continue to educate about parental narcissism. “
She offers the antidote to this problem as well, “The anti-thesis to narcissism is empathy. Parent with empathy, tune into the emotional welfare of children and make a difference.”
Although true Narcissistic Personality Disorder effects about 1% of the world’s population, could it be worth the effort to make sure that selfishness, egotism, or short-sightedness is not the reason your child is behaving badly?
At Zarbee’s, we believe happy parents can make happy children. A big part of parenting is just letting your kid express themselves the only way they know how, without judgment, selfishness or anger.
Do you believe that children are usually misbehaving because of their own unique personalities and needs, or do you believe that a narcissistic, unrealistic parent is more often the cause? We could all learn to be better parents and help kids who may be stuck in an emotionally abusive home situation. Share your thoughts with us here or on our Facebook page!