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Emotional Child Abuse in Narcissistic Families

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

shadow of mother scolding child narcissistic family

Emotional Child Abuse in Narcissistic Families

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

Emotional child abuse in narcissistic families is a criminal act of domestic abuse that goes largely unnoticed. The devastating effects of it last a lifetime.

Children in families with narcissistic parents understand that their family operates by a set of unspoken rules—rules that feel confusing and painful. The only stability these children know comes from adhering to the agenda of their narcissistic parent. The feelings of the children are never recognized. It is demonstrated over and over by the narcissistic parents that their children’s feelings do not matter.

The fact that the parent can sometimes be nice is a primary source of confusion for the children. Wanting to believe they are loved, children deny what is actually happening to them. This causes them to buy into the deception over and over. The truth is far too painful to accept.

The children spend a lifetime desperately trying to get attention. If they receive any favor from their parents, it will only be scraps. Even so, they never stop trying.

Children with narcissistic parents do learn that any kindness shown to them comes with strings attached. Niceness or generosity from the parent is a debt the child must repay. Children are forever beholden to the parent. Any love received has conditions. They are never loved for who they are, only for how well they please.