As a missionary, I’ve been to different places, met different people, spent time with different families, and played with kids and listened to their stories.
I see it myself now, how parents care differently for their children depending on their financial status, cultures, and educational backgrounds. According toRaquel Anderson, LMHC, “A parent is the most important person in a child’s life. It’s never too late to make changes to ensure you’re raising your child in a safe, healthy, and loving environment.”
Many people loosely use the term “narcissistic.” According toHeather Stevenson, PsyD, “I think that the word gets thrown around a lot. A person can have narcissistic traits and not have the personality disorder.” Some individuals believe that this word just refers to a characteristic of having too much love for one’s self. However, there is so much more that comes with this term. According to clinical psychologistAimee Daramus, PsyD, “Narcissism is a personality style in which people have a powerful need to be the best, most important in the room.” Narcissism is a mental health problem that could make the person involved to become more distant to the people surrounding him. According toKelsei LeAnn, PsyD, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder is defined as someone who lacks empathy for others, and they crave admiration. They’re often described as pathological liars, self-centered, manipulative, controlling.” At the same time, this illness can also result in some violence or harm for those close to him.
In the United States, a divorce between married couples is allowed. There are many reasons why a husband and wife would end up going separate ways. One of the common causes is the psychological incapacity of one of the parties to the marriage. Narcissism falls under this category.
If you believe that your partner has this condition and you both have decided to get a divorce, then do not worry because you made the right decision. However, you have to remember that your kids will be affected too. Therefore, it is essential to protect them from a narcissistic parent. Here are some of the things that you could do:
Never Blame Yourself
Let go of all the regrets and what-ifs. The first step that you need to do is to get over the negative experience in your life. Take note that the more you get stuck with the failed marriage, the more it will be difficult for your kids to continue with their lives. Always remember that divorcing your narcissistic ex-wife was necessary. Otherwise, both of you will only live a miserable life.
Show Your Support To The Children
Your children have a high tendency to feel envious of what the other kids have. This is because of the influence that they may get from your narcissistic wife. As such, it is essential that you show them your support at all times. Make them feel that they are good enough. Remind the children that happiness must come from within and not from the validation of others.
Listen To Concerns of Your Kids
Make it a habit of asking your kids about how their day went. Inquire whether there was a significant event that happened recently. Doing this will give you an idea if they are having a hard time in school or other aspects of their lives. Keep in mind that the pressure of having a narcissistic mom is too high. Make things lighter by striking up a conversation that they could all relate to.
Help The Children Grow Better
Growing up with a mother who has narcissism has adverse effects on the kids. They may get the attitude or acquire some personality traits from their mom. Because of this, they may throw tantrums whenever they do not get what they want. The best thing to do is to help them grow as responsible members of society. Remind them of the proper ways on how to act in every situation. Teach them to be sensitive to the feelings of other individuals.
Be sure to follow all the items listed above for the benefit of your children. Be a good example for them.
Disciplining a child is hard work. According toDr. Jennifer Hartstein, PsyD, “Discipline is a necessary thing in life, for certain, and how we engage in it is important in building positive self-esteem and a healthy sense of self in children.” It involves reaching a balance between being an authority figure as well as somebody who loves them unconditionally. However, inadvertently parents may be caught off guard on not so good days and can verbally lash out at others, and this might include his/her child. The offense might sound minimal as compared to any other type of abuse. Oftentimes, parents might also rationalize their behaviors and temper as something out of their control brought about by the everyday stress of taking care of the kids as well as juggling their other responsibilities. Experts negate this frame of mind stating that any abuse is not justifiable.