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Why an Absent Parent is Better than a Narcissistic Parent.

by writemindmatters 5 months ago in values

Absence is better than narcissism.

Why an Absent Parent is Better than a Narcissistic Parent.
Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

I remember telling a friend, who was always complaining about some guy she had a fling with, that I thought she was lucky he had chosen not to have anything to do with (their) her child.

Then it happened to me.

I still think we’re lucky. Why would you want a complete stranger, who is not interested in your child, involved in your child’s life?

If they're not interested when given the opportunity, they're hardly likely to be the kind of role model you'd want for your child, nor would their parenting add any value, other than a few hard lessons best learned the easy way.

My situation wasn’t a “fling” as such, it was a narcissistic relationship, which in my mind now, is no different. They make you believe you’re in a relationship, but they’re exploitive, controlling, and planning on flicking you off as quickly as they did the many before you.

They do exactly the same to their children.

“They [the children of narcissists] are conditioned to be ‘pleasers,’ having mastered the art of attuning themselves to the emotional needs of others, often at their own expense,” says Dr. Dorfman.

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How an Absent Parent affects their child.

Education — Studies have demonstrated delays in a child’s cognitive development, particularly from the absence of a child’s mother.

Mental Health — Significant research has identified that parental absence increases the likelihood of children developing mental illnesses, including depression and increased suicide ideation.

Delinquency — The impact parental absence has on education, mental health, and relationships in childhood can lead to delinquency in adolescence and later life. These include higher incidences of bullying, substance abuse, social and emotional instability, disorderly or criminal behaviors, and teenage pregnancy.

Relationships — There is a strong relationship between an absent father and difficulties adjusting socially and emotionally.

Employment opportunities — Reduced employment opportunities can be a consequence of the above effects, and the studies underlined confirm the absence of a parent can also predict a greater risk of unemployment, reduced earnings, and lower employment status.

A majority of the studies consider timing and other causes such as poverty or genetic and environmental factors, though I’m a huge fan of going against the grain of statistics. A loving and present parent along with a strong support village can help prevent potential mental and emotional damage.

The 5-point emotional scale helps children work through their emotions during difficult times. The scale is used in schools and to assess and support children with autism, though full resources including books, charts, and games are available to everyone.

Source: Asperger/ Autism Network.

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How a Narcissistic Parent affects their child.

Education — Most studies investigating the effects of parents with cluster B personality disorders focus on the mental, emotional, and social health of their children. However, these studies highlight the difficulties children face in the education system and why educators are being encouraged to identify children who may come from narcissistic families.

Mental Health — The children of narcissists are known to end up with narcissist traits as a result of mirroring their parent’s behavior, along with self-blame, low self-esteem, devaluing others, a lack of empathy, and depression and anxiety.

Delinquency — Disruptive behaviors developed from personality disordered parenting styles can be seen in children as young as a year old. Conduct disorder and aggression are common effects of children from narcissistic families.

Relationships — Children from narcissistic parents lose their own identity, crave attention and approval from others, and become co-dependent making it difficult to form and maintain healthy relationships.

Employment opportunities — The mental and emotional toll that narcissistic parents place on their children can prevent them from developing resilience to face challenges, leading to poorer employment prospects.

By Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

Narcissistic parents groom, control, and manipulate their children causing significant mental and emotional damage from PTSD, CPTSD, and personality disorders to delayed development, suicide ideation, depression, and anxiety.

This places incredible stress on both the co-parent and the child. Children who learn how to identify and manage personality disorders and are taught skills such as resilience, negotiation, and emotional regulation can counteract both stress and the disorder.

Research suggests children and their caregivers who receive psychoeducation, particularly about personality disorders, have better emotional outcomes. Educators could also benefit from psychoeducation to identify and address the needs of children suffering from the effects of a parent with a personality disorder.

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Why Absent is better than Narcissistic.

So, why is absent better than narcissistic for your child?

  1. They stay away and let you teach your child learn what love really is.
  2. They can't, and don’t, do any more damage than they already did by being absent.

There are several types of absent parents, those incarcerated, on military consignment, in other positions, that mean they are away for weeks to months, with mental illnesses that require supervision, abusive, and your stock standard ‘walked out.’ The completely absent parent is the type I am referring to in this article.

The most common parent I see today is the present, absent parent.

Those parents with their mobile phones always in hand, you’re sure they’re staring at their phones more often than they are their children, you wonder why they even bothered to take their children out for the day.

By Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

On that note, I better go be present myself:)

Please note: I use the term narcissistic to refer to all people with strong manipulative and exploitive tendencies and not to all or any specific cluster B personality disorders.

Some people diagnosed with these personality disorders do make active and genuine efforts toward improving adverse traits and their effects; this is a job for a qualified therapist, not you, and definitely not your children.

Thank you for reading.

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About the author

writemindmatters

Writing about all matters of the mind, narcissism, personality disorders, parenting, writing, naturopathy, nutrition, and hopefully chapters from fantasy books I'll one day write.

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