Ep: 51 Are You Raising A Narcissistic Child?
Ep: 51 Transcript
Jennifer Gunson 0:09
Are you or someone you know raising an entitled, often disrespectful, narcissistic child? Listen to another episode of Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose. She will talk about the characteristics of a selfish child and how they can be identified in a cluster of actions and behaviours. She will share some information about how important it is to identify and treat narcissistic behaviour in our children. So let’s get started.
How do you know if you’re raising a narcissistic child?
Hi, everybody; welcome back to Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose. I’m glad you’re here! We are on episode 51! And today, I want to talk about something that’s been coming up, and I’ve heard a lot about it. And that’s, can children be narcissists as children? Is it possible to raise a selfish child and raise a narcissistic person and see it in them as children? So I found, I did a bit of research, and I found this fantastic site! It’s momjunction.com. And I think you guys would enjoy going there if you’re interested in this topic. But I want to discuss identifying if a child might have a narcissistic personality disorder. I am not a doctor; I do not diagnose. So professional therapies and somebody well versed in narcissism would be who you would consult, if you feel you may have a child in that case or know of a child who might be developing this disorder.
(Photo of a child screaming and mother plugging hears.)
What causes child NPD?
So a child without narcissism, let’s call it NPD, craves attention but is age-appropriate, so they’re grateful and appreciate the attention they get. They aspire to be more extensive role play as a superhero, etc. But they know that is not true. So it’s a fantasy. And they know it’s a fantasy. These are kids without NPD. Their needs are realistic and can be fulfilled. And they make friends, and they have good relationships with the family. So these are people that are, they’re very balanced as kids. And they’re expected as kids – like they know the difference between reality and fantasy. But a child with NPD could be very much an attention seeker. And they see it as their right to get immediate attention. But they don’t express gratitude to their parents or anyone for being kind or friendly to them. They don’t appreciate the child. This is a child again with NPD. They believe they’re great, and then others are lower than them. That’s very much a dominant trait and narcissistic personality disorder. In adults as well. They have three different types of people – those above them that they revere, those who are equal to them that they want to diminish, and those lower than them that they ignore. And it starts in childhood. A child with NPD will have high and unreasonable expectations from others. They expect others to serve them. And they find it difficult to make and maintain friendships. That’s just a rough, just blurb of the difference between children with and children without.
What are the red flags of a narcissist?
Here are some signs and traits. Now I’m even bringing this up because narcissism has been; the word itself has been tossed out there. It’s like, it’s like, the law of attraction has been tossed around, and nobody knows what it is. And it just feels like it’s become a word people are choosing in society to say, well, that bad behaviour has got to be a narcissist. That’s not the case. Children do misbehave without being narcissists, trust me. The following traits are when they occur together. Okay? That’s important. There’s a pattern, and they could be signs of a typical narcissist—so very high levels of self-importance. Now, we encourage our children to be optimistic about their body image, positive about who they are, and confident about being whole and lovely. But remember, these signs are used together; they occur together these traits, so a high level of self-importance on practical ideas of limitless achievements and power. So they believe that they can do anything, and they genuinely think they can do anything. Now, when you look at some of the work we do here in our world, my world that I live in, the holistic work, I believe I can do anything I want to do; I think that I can accomplish anything I want to achieve. But again, it’s not in combination with some of these other traits. Okay, so remember, they go together so I will list them together. Okay, I’m not going to use say them all because of quite a few. I know they feel that they’re entitled to everything now. Ask for massive; if I asked for a million dollars, I had better get it! Gaze aversions, wherein they do not look into the eyes of the speaker. So when you’re speaking to a child with NPD, they often can’t meet your gaze. If they’re uncomfortable, they have separation anxiety from a parent, both parents, or family home. That is huge with following again; with the combination of traits and pathological play, they believe they’re better than other kids around. So they have a superiority complex and expect enormous respect and adoration. They expect people to validate them continually. Opportunistic behavioural pattern. And what that means is, if somebody is doing something, and they see an opportunity to take advantage of them or rather piggyback them because they might be a little jealous, then they’ll take advantage of that. They don’t understand the needs of the fellows around them, their fellow beings; they don’t understand why you need this or why you need that because they’re very selfish and narcissistic. They’re arrogant. They tend to say things that make them look and sound arrogant. They exaggerate their abilities and their successes. So they’ll do this well, but they exaggerated to the point that somebody told me, Wow, you’re doing such a great job. When that never was said, you’re saying it to yourself exploitative, envious of others’ achievements; they get very jealous. Jealousy is a big part of narcissistic behaviour. And they cannot; they cannot allow others to be recognized without themselves being recognized. And this can be incredibly difficult. Inside a family structure, where one child might have something special coming up, like a birthday, an anniversary or some event that took place in or even special event they’re taking part in, the NPD child will want to be recognized as well and will demand to be recognized in some way. They can’t take criticism; they cannot. They get hurt or insulted very quickly. It wouldn’t matter what you say. It could be just your tone of voice. And they’re bang, they’re upset, and they’re insulted. And they blame the others around them for their failures or anybody else in the world if they think it’s their fault; they never believe that they’ve done anything wrong.
What happens to a child to make them a narcissist?
And these again must be… so listen back to this if you think you may have a child or grandchild, a neighbour’s child or you know a child, or you’re a teacher in school, and maybe these are signs you’d like to look for. Remember, they fall in group clusters, it’s behaviours, not just one primary behaviour, but there’s a group of them that you can see coming through in this child. The immediate question is the cause of narcissistic personality disorder – what is it? Because they don’t know psychologists and psychiatrists. Many studies have been done, and they’ve come up with some reasons why these could be the traits this child is displaying. But these could be – not definites. So understand me here. Okay? So negligent parenting could be a part of it. Either the parents are detached or unresponsive to what the child needs for their care, and codependent parenting, which brings protective and overprotective love and obsession, is not maintained. So there’s, they’re being defensive, and they’re being overprotective. And we’re loving obsessions not born for the child and excessive pampering in childhood. And this is my greatest fear for this generation coming up the ice. I’m sorry, those of you that are parenting, there are all these new expressions like helicopter parenting and the golden child being raised in the household, and the golden child has been around for a while. But that term is becoming more attached to NPD kids. So excessive pampering and childhood, making the kid the golden child of the family, where everything they do is like, oh my god, you’re terrific. You’re lovely; you can do no wrong. And this child starts to believe that they have no boundaries. Their boundaries are exploited. And excessive pampering can make one narcissistic extension child, meaning they are supplied with the admiration and attention they demand. Narcissistic parents also affect their kids. And some parents see their child’s individuality as a threat. They don’t; narcissistic parents don’t want their kids to be individuals; they must follow the parent’s rules. And so when they see their child’s individuality is a threat, they try to curb it. If a child fights that and doesn’t accept it, they will be shunned. Okay? And they won’t become a narcissist themselves, but they will be ignored entirely or destroyed in some part by the narcissistic parent. Children that do accept it and whose values aren’t curved often can grow up to be narcissistic kids. And too much negative criticism can make them feel inadequate and flawed about themselves. So they develop narcissism as a defence mechanism. So it’s a fine line. And you can see why it’s unknown exactly what is the cause of narcissism in children because we’re saying, well, over-protecting and excessive pampering and too much nurturing and saying, Oh, you’re fabulous and da, da, da – that isn’t good for them. But also, irrational expectations from parents can make them think too high or too low of themselves, but also too much negative criticism. So you’re in the middle somewhere; we’ve got to be somewhere with our kids. And sometimes, adoptive kids or divorce kids can bring about insecurities and vulnerabilities, so they don’t feel loved, and self-love helps them carry on in life.
How is a narcissistic disorder diagnosed?
Again, abuse of any sort can make people feel victimized and unloved. They’re hypersensitive. And genetic anomalies in some and genetic aberrations can lead to mental conditions due to changes in the brain. So there could be a physiological step. However, a narcissistic personality disorder is not life-threatening. It’s good to get it diagnosed and treated for the child’s better behaviour and social life. But there has to be someone treating them that understands the mental disorder. And nowadays, there seem to be a lot of psychologists who are predominantly studying narcissistic personality disorder to try and assist parents and spouses. Children become healthier and more robust in society. So they can be diagnosed with NPD by a doctor. And then, they talk to the child, and the child’s behaviour towards therapists is also analyzed to know whether they are condescending or cordial. So if they go into therapy, a physical exam can be done to eliminate any of the physiological stuff, too, that’s important. And if there’s no cause found, then a mental health care plan would come up specific to the child. The diagnosis of NPD usually involves understanding the psychological aspects of the patient. And so they use questionnaires, assessment activities, and scale tests. It’s done to check if the condition is a narcissistic personality disorder, something else like hypomania, or other diseases that maybe we’re being confused about that are being blurred. And if they’re persistent, experts will also observe what they suspect might be NPD. They’ll keep the symptoms in a child to see if they’re consistent, steady, and not phase or mood-based. A common belief is that a person diagnosed with a complex mental condition tends to remain like that throughout life. But NPD is manageable. And that’s not the truth! NPD is NOT manageable. It would show up as being consistent. So cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the best ways to enable a patient to recognize the problems and identify the negative thought patterns. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is also suitable as family therapy. If overvaluation and excessive parental love show up, a psychotherapist may warn the parents against such behaviour and regulate the child’s emotions.
How do you live with a narcissistic child?
So let’s get into some complications and how you can care for your child with a narcissistic personality disorder. I also want you to remember I’m going to pick a card, and I chose a card today from Shelley Richardson’s deck: My Daily Affirmations. I’m going to show you that at the end. Share that with you at the end of this blurb, so stick around.
Homecare for a selfish child with NPD. Homecare is to be firm with your child, but don’t be violent. Now, there’s a reason because there are complications that could arise from NPD indulgence and alcohol and drugs when they grow up. Relationship crises with family and friends, social awkwardness, lack of social circle, and complex relationships at school and home. Not just normal relationships but difficult ones. And long term damage can be avoided by complementing the treatment with personal care at home. Any maintenance that you’re getting them through therapy. So be firm; not violent aggression can set your child off from you completely, and they won’t listen. They have inflated egos, take things personally, and get hurt. So they suffer from narcissistic injury or vulnerable self-esteem. So try to discipline your child practically – curb the sense of entitlement. It’s so essential today that children are being raised as entitled. And you know, we’ve just gotten through some tough times in our year, the last couple of years, and children have had to be treated differently because their social worlds collapsed, their family worlds changed. People were working at home, looking after kids, and homeschooling – lots of change. So for the children showing a sense of entitlement, help them understand they are very much like others in the family and will not get special treatment. So, for example, if they feel entitled to special treatment, and they behave basally to the other kids or their friends and family, tell them they cannot bully others or expect others to be subservient to them. And at the same time, don’t ridicule the child. Okay? Moderate conversations. Help your child understand that listening to others is as important as talking. One of the things about narcissistic kids is they will talk, talk, and talk as long as somebody is giving them attention. And as soon as people stop giving them attention, they’ll disappear. They don’t care what the other person says. They don’t care what they have to say. It should be 50-50 -speaking and listening. Help them practice this at home and have a balance in relationships. So help your child understand the dynamics of a relationship starting from home, how chores are shared, and how everyone has to be considerate towards others for a better living. Explain to them how you and your spouse share the responsibility of taking care of the family, how you earn for them, and how you provide food while the kids in the family go to school, study and behave well. And provide unconditional love. Do not attach your pet to something the child achieves. You know, I was talking to a friend the other day. And she said that she has friends who will reward good behaviour with money. And if anyone knows anything about Narcissus children, narcissists, and adults, money is one of their focuses because it’s power. They see it as power, rewarding a child by giving them something or telling them you’re going to love them if they do this, or you’ll do this for them. If they do this, you’re not helping them at all. Don’t pamper them with gifts when they achieve something. And don’t bombard them with insults when they fail. So there again, boundaries – is that what our society is struggling with right now is a lack of limits? I think it might be. Try and maintain neutrality, and love them uniformly always.
How do you break a child from narcissistic behaviour?
So many questions about narcissism and kids and how people can identify this are often asked. So at what age does narcissistic personality disorder develop? Again, you all know we’re all narcissistic to some degree. We all love to ensure we look groomed when we walk out the door, and we like to feel good about ourselves. But NPD goes beyond that. It often occurs in childhood but is not usually diagnosed until late teens or early adulthood. So many personality disorders, including NPD, are diagnosed at 18 years or older and may show signs in childhood. A definite diagnosis is often made in later years. So you’re not going to know unless you do something about it if you feel your child fits that first grouping I shared with you. Does childhood trauma cause NPD? It is linked to NPD, yes. Sexual trauma might be associated with a high risk of developing a disorder. And children who face severe verbal abuse in childhood can also develop NPD or other personality disorders. How do parents who are a part of creating the narcissist over evaluation can create narcissism in children; those children will not be creating high self-esteem? They’re creating narcissism because they believe that there’s an overexpression of affection, and the development of narcissistic behaviours in children can develop. It’s over affection; you can do no wrong, you are a perfect child, and discipline is usually not a part of the story either. So having good boundaries and consistent discipline with your child, early socialization experiences and overvaluing during developmental years can lead to NPD unless some measures are taken in time. Is it a learned behaviour? Well, it’s not well known, and it could be a learned behaviour or linked to genetics. However, the increased risk of developing narcissism in a positive family history can be due to learning narcissistic behaviours from parents or close family members. Two theories are divining the origins of schism in the social learning theory that overvaluing by parents leads to narcissism spoiling your child. That’s what that’s saying. In contrast, the psychoanalytical theory says that lack of parental affection plays a role in developing NPD. That’s abuse. So you don’t want to be spoiling the child. You don’t want to be abusing the child. You want to have boundaries and a healthy home environment for your child. How do you live with a selfish child, you articulate non-negotiable boundaries, and you deal with the selfish behaviour of your child; you negotiate to make them do the right things rather than emotional outbursts. They may use gaslighting phrases to attack your self-esteem. You may wisely deal with them rather than get emotional or burst out of anger. Get some therapies to help with self-esteem and reduce stress. So how do you discipline a child with NPD to avoid overvaluing your child for their achievements? You can compliment them, say how attentive they were in the game rather than saying, great job or you’re the best. Don’t compare them to others ever. Teach them empathy. Teach them about how people feel about specific actions or behaviours. Encourage them to be responsible for their actions. And parents should be role models, okay? To develop good behaviour. Narcissistic children are self-centred, and they believe themselves to be superior. They tend to blame their failures on others and disregard others. Childhood abuse, being neglected, being overprotected, or having narcissistic parents might contribute to children developing such behaviour. NPD may be diagnosed and managed using cognitive behavioural therapy, especially if you catch it when you’re young. Psychotherapy and good family education. Children with narcissism find it difficult to establish relationships with others, and they may fall prey to drugs or alcohol. Although difficult, a person with this disorder can change with effective intervention, discipline and willpower, okay? So narcissistic children are often referred to in a family as the golden child. I know a couple of to give you a short story. I know two couples that travelled together frequently. One had several kids, another had three or four kids, and two mothers would go shopping often. And then, when they came back, they would show their husbands or partners the purchases they made. One of the women was always showing the men the things like oh, look at this and got for so and so. And oh, look at this, I got so and so. And I look at this! And I’m so excited! I can’t wait for him to see it. And finally, one of the fathers spoke up and said, excuse me, how many kids do you have? And the woman said, Well, I have four. And he said, Well, how come you’re only shopping for one, and that’s the only one you talk about? Be careful, parents. Be careful, grandparents. Please help these children be strong and healthy. We don’t need more narcissists in the world. We need healthy people with good boundaries; take care. And give your children the guidance they need. Please do it now. And you’re creating a healthy child instead of a narcissist as they age.
What does narcissism look like in a child?
Here’s the card I pulled; it’s on relationships. This is an affirmation – you can write this down. And it is: I am a respectful, loving person who cares deeply about how I treat others. People feel safe around me.
Thanks for tuning in today on this almost medical-scientific view of what a narcissistic child could look like and what they could be bringing to the table. And again, I got a lot of this from momjunction.com. Check it out and Google narcissistic child yourself and contact information if you think you might know someone. Thanks for checking in on Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose, and I’ll see you next time!
Jennifer Gunson 24:04
Thank you for listening to another episode of Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose. If you love listening to this podcast, we have one little favour to ask you. Please follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google podcasts. If you love learning from Sharyn, well, she’s got a few ongoing courses. Why don’t you register for Kitchen Witchen? It’s on now! All you have to do for more information is going to KitchenWitchen.ca. Or if you’d like to book an appointment with Sharyn for reading, or if you’d like to know more about Sharyn, her psychic services, coaching sessions and more workshops, go to: SharynRose.com. That’s Sharyn with a “Y.” We’ll talk to you next time!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai