After viewing the infamous movie, “Bad Moms”, I decided what a great way to introduce my new parenting series. This is not something for the faint of heart. This series is simply a hard-core, heavy hitting, ground breaking, and no holds barred series that has the ability to change your life. And your family will thank you for it.
So what is narcissism? The dictionary defines it as, “inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.”
If you are anything like me, then this sounds extremely familiar, and that’s the part that sucks.
I grew up in an environment where my mother was a narcissist. The times that I did spend with her were filled with nothing but what she wanted and needed in life. I wasn’t even a priority to her.
Now, while my experience with my own mother was an extreme case of narcissism, there are moms out there struggling to see that their own narcissist traits are ruining their relationships with their children and this is the reason why I wanted to address it so that I can help prevent further damage.
After working with hundreds of children and parents all over the world, I have seen enough of these traits that have damaged children’s confidence and it can be prevented.
So, first start by asking yourself the tough question, “am I a narcissist mom?”
Because this article is not about defining whether or not you are, feel free to check out this wonderful article in Psychology Today on the characteristics of narcissistic parents then continue on reading here.
Now that you know the characteristics of the narcissist, the next thing is how this does affects your child.
Because confidence is something that I am an advocate for, I wanted to discuss how being a narcissist parent affects your child’s confidence.
I had a parent come to me at her wits end. Her child had the best of everything. Went to the best school and wanted for absolutely nothing. Every after school activity you could think of she was a part of. She even attended tutoring in the summer because her mother wanted to ensure she was ahead of the class in all areas.
She wanted answers and advice on the how and why her child’s behavior was horrible (at best) and why she just could not seem to breakthrough. “I have tried everything from, threatening, to spanking, and even bribing but nothing works. I just don’t know where I am going wrong.”
After a series of observations, questions, and sessions, I realized that this mom was displaying narcissist traits and her child’s behavior was a direct result of them. So after breaking the news that her child’s behavior was largely due to her own self-centered ways, this mom broke down in tears. She had no idea that she was damaging her child’s confidence all because she wanted her to be the best of the best.
Let me throw in a disclaimer here.
There is NOTHING wrong with wanting your child to succeed however if your desire for success in your child outweighs any moral decision for anything else, it’s high time you understood that you are causing the adverse effect in your child and you need to stop immediately.
Here are three questions I would advise asking yourself when wanting your child to succeed:
- Why do you want them to succeed? Ask yourself the tough question. If you cannot honestly say that you want your child to succeed simply because they are already pretty awesome, then your motives may be a bit off and you need to check yourself. You may be damaging their confidence in the process and making life my difficult for everyone involved.
- What are you willing to do to ensure they succeed? Are you stressed because you are and will do ANY and EVERYTHING it takes to make sure your child is a “success”? This goes back to what your true motives are. Check yourself first and then you will realize that when you are stressed and frustrated, your actions are not in line with your desires and this leads to failure every time.
- How does your child respond to your choices? More often than not, when you stop at nothing to ensure your child is a “success” it negatively affects your child and the way they view and respond to you. They start to rebel, act out, and even embarrass you. When you see these signs, step back and realize you can change it.
Now that you are aware of how narcissism can negatively affect your child, becoming more aware and working on yourself as a parent is and always should be your goal. Want more tips on parenting confident kids? Sign up for our Parenting Points and grab a FREE cheat sheet on sibling rivalry!