Narcissistic Parents Don’t Want Their Children To Grow Up

When the child of a narcissistic parent is very young, the narcissistic parent is often at her happiest in her role as a parent.  Young children are easier to control & manipulate.  They also don’t want independence.

 

Unfortunately for the narcissistic parent, children don’t stay little forever.

 

As children grow up, many narcissists feel threatened or even betrayed.  The reason being, I believe, is that the harder the child is to control, the worse this is for the narcissistic parent. They want that young child to make them look good by behaving properly, being interested in what the parent wants them interested in, etc.  The younger a child, the easier the child is to control.  This is why the teen years can be extremely hard for narcissistic parents & their children.  Teens are growing up & naturally want more independence.  This is unacceptable to the narcissist, so they use whatever means they can to keep their teenager a young child.  Some weapons they use are:

 

  • Disapproval.  This can be either in the forms of disapproving looks or questioning your choices.
  • Criticism.  Insulting your choices or tastes, usually done under the guise of helping.  The narcissistic parent is trying to make you believe she knows what’s best for you, you don’t.
  • Interfering.  Telling you what you should do, who you should date or not allowing you to date, even sabotaging relationships with people the narcissistic parent doesn’t approve of.

 

Unfortunately, these behaviors don’t end when the child turns into an adult.  Often, they continue well into adulthood.  They certainly did with my parents.  My parents had very strong opinions on what I should do & who I should do it with.

 

There are no ways to get a narcissist to stop trying to infantilize their child, no matter the child’s age.  But, there are some ways you can handle this maddening behavior.

 

You’ll need to limit the amount of information you reveal to your narcissistic parent.  Any information they have can be turned into ammunition used to hurt you.

 

Use good boundary setting phrases, such as, “Thanks, but the situation is under control.”  “I’ve made my decision, & there is nothing more to discuss.”  “I didn’t ask for your opinion on this matter.”

 

Changing the subject may work too.  Often with narcissists, you can’t simply change the subject & expect them to respect that the first time.  It may take doing this a few times or doing it over & over in a short span of time, but it usually works- they get tired of fighting to talk about the topic.  The often short attention span of many narcissists can work in your favor.

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29 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

29 responses to “Narcissistic Parents Don’t Want Their Children To Grow Up

  1. OMG, everything in this article totally fits my parents’ tactics to control me. I can’t imagine how much more awful my life would be if I hadn’t gone low contact in the past year. They see nothing wrong with interfering with my life even in my 30s. As I tried not to disclose personal info to them, my nm began criticizing very superficial things, like criticizing my way of spending $ on cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry Sarah. & no, you don’t want to imagine what it could be like if you hadn’t gone no contact. No doubt it’d be even worse. I’m not surprised your mother got critical about superficial stuff. Narcissists criticize whatever they can. If you didn’t provide her with more personal things, they’ll go for whatever scraps they can. It’s craziness.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. In my case the setting of boundaries wasn’t going to help. My NM never stopped criticizing me. She was especially critical of my faith and my parenting which she’d do to my face or behind my back. Refusing to speak to her about these or other topics changed nothing because SHE refused to stop. If she didn’t get new “material” she’d just recycle the old or make things up (I knew she did this because she’d done it with other family members). I spent too long trying to convince her that she was hurting me and the people I love with her criticism and slanders, in the mistaken belief that she didn’t know how much she was hurting us or that she might WANT to change. I didn’t realize that she did these things intentionally because they served her and that it would take a miracle from God to change her from a covert narcissist to a normal, loving mother. It was when I finally understood this and that I had the right to protect myself from her verbal and emotional abuse that I went NC. I know that not all survivors choose strict NC and I respect the right of all to make their own choice in this matter. But for me it was necessary to make a complete break. I was never going to heal unless I did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Unfortunately so many cases, I’d hazard a guess most, are like yours where strict no contact is the best resolution to the situation. Sad but true fact when we’re dealing with narcissistic parents.

      For those who won’t or are unable to go no contact, the best they can hope for is to minimize the drama & abuse the best they can with boundaries, keeping conversations superficial & most of all prayer. Either way is just sad though. The relationship with a parent & child just should NOT be this way! I doubt i’ll ever understand how a parent can be so cruel to their own child.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fits so well I laughed too hard

    Like

  4. ibikenyc

    Or barging into your room when you’re not home and taking clothes she doesn’t like (it was — brace yourselves — a PURPLE Henley shirt! My GOD!), making them disappear, and FOREVER feigning absolute ignorance of their fate or whereabouts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How nice of your mother! (yes, being super sarcastic there). Unreal! purple henley shirt? That was the big crisis?? @@ My mother did the same thing to me with a Duran Duran shirt that she bought me, mind you. Suddenly it vanished & she claimed to know nothing about it. I finally found it hidden at the bottom of a dirty clothes basket. When I questioned her about it, she said I liked it too much. Makes no sense at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ibikenyc

        Yeah, serionsly; WTF.
        Crew-necked cotton-knit shirts? I don’t know if it was just because I liked it, but (short version) purple was Not Allowed. Cotton also was frowned upon; she was a huge fan of synthetics for herself, and of course we all know what THAT means.
        LOVE the extra twist of the knife gained by, in your case, its ALSO being a taken-back gift: High-quality supply AND, sometimes, double coupons! Woo-Hoo!

        Liked by 1 person

        • WTF is right. Purple & cotton not good? Crazy.. as if those are such bad things?!

          lol My mother is a polyester fan herself. I still can’t stand the feel of it.. makes me cringe to this day.

          LOL You got it with my mother! BONUS!!!! lol Side note- a while back, she mentioned how obsessed I *am* with Duran Duran. Not was. Am. Apparently I haven’t changed since I was 14, according to her…

          Liked by 2 people

          • In the mind of a N some things about you are too beneficial to them to ever forget. You will never hear the end of it if you ever once did something, said something, liked or believed something they could use to criticize or ridicule you. And the most painful episodes in your life will be brought up time and again, never to be forgotten. Your pain lives on in their memories forever and that’s how they like it.

            Liked by 2 people

            • That’s the truth Suzanne!

              Liked by 1 person

            • ibikenyc

              Hey, lighten up! She was just jokin’ aROUND!

              (TOTAL SARCASM)

              Liked by 1 person

              • Mine didn’t even try to disguise it as a joke.

                Liked by 2 people

                • Angela

                  My Mil once asked my mother why she hadn’t sent her a Christmas card, knowing full well my mother had recently had a stroke and was suffering from dementia. When I reminded her of that, she said she was joking. She thinks she can say whatever spiteful remarks she likes and dismiss it as a joke.
                  You’re right, if narcissists run out of ammunition, they think of something outrageous to accuse you of.
                  As a teenager I’d had to buy all my own clothes. When I grew out of some of them, I made the mistake of telling my mother that I was going to give them to a young friend of mine from my church. She came from a big family and her father was unable to work. When I went to get them out of my wardrobe, my mother had taken them and given them to a work colleague for her daughter. When I spoke to the lady a few years later, I discovered that although her daughter was younger than me, she was taller and larger!
                  When I was going away to study, I intended to take my warm winter coat and leather satchel with me. She gave those away too and I couldn’t afford to replace them. I suppose she wanted to play lady bountiful with my stuff.
                  I feel for you all.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  • You have my sympathy. A N mother is bad enough. But both your mother and mother-in-law were narcissists. I can’t imagine how I’d cope. I don’t know how Cynthia did it for so long. It’s like being tag-teamed by two bullies.

                    Like

                    • Angela

                      You can add my brother and his wife and a few flying monkeys. I’m older and wiser now and the few times I do see them, I know all their tricks and how deal with them. Bless you.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That is a good way to describe it Suzanne. The mothers are one of the main reasons I wanted to elope rather than have a wedding & reception. I was honestly afraid they would stop hating each other & bond over their mutual hatred for me & feeling that my husband deserved better than me. I knew the two together would ruin our special day.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • I’m all for that idea of putting them on an island together.. lol

                    Like

                • ibikenyc

                  Terrific.

                  I hope you know I really was being sarcastic about her joking around.

                  Mine didn’t actually SAY that*, but she’d wear that SICKENING Narcissistic Simper-Smirk when she told EVERYBODY about the latest “Cute” (horribly embarrassing to me and any other sane person) thing I’d done / said / worn / attempted / ________.

                  “IBikeNYC is VERY immature, you know,” she’d confide to whoever it was, and if she knew I could overhear, well, there’s those double coupons again.

                  (YES, you freak: That’s part of what happens when a kid isn’t allowed to so much as blow her own NOSE when and how she needs / wants to.)

                  *My “SO” does, which is where I get that from: “Lighten UUUUUP; I’m jokin’ aROUND!” in a tone that’s like a cross between “Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah” and that EDGY thing that usually signifies the beginning of a full-blown RAGE EVENT.

                  Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Cynthia, I just read your post and saw that it is very similar to mine! I am sorry you have had this experience as well.
    https://couragecoaching.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/infantilization/

    Like

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