Narcissists are extremely jealous of their children for numerous reasons. First, because children take their mother’s time away from focusing solely on the narcissist. Second, narcissists have the demented belief that their offspring purely are extensions of themselves. And as soon as the children begin to demonstrate their own minds that will happen to differ with what the narcissist believes, the narcissist acts out by demeaning them and telling them that they are wrong. He will tell them that they better not think that way, or better not pursue professions that he does not approve of, etc… Interestingly, anything that the narcissist sees the children doing or saying that he does not like, he blames the mother for it. When I left my ex, I remembered he called me with anger and told me that he should be number one, and the kids number two. Well, I beg to differ.
My narcissist ex will take away my children’s accomplishments by one upping them. When my son says, “Hi dad, I played catch today.” My ex then replies with, “Oh that is great! Daddy played catch all the time when I was your age.” And when my son says, “I had a Cub Scouts meeting today,” my ex says “Yes, Daddy was in Cub Scouts too.” There is no other response or inquiry into whatever my son says he achieved, it could be concerning school activities, sports, etc. Which is funny because the entire time I was married to him, he never once mentioned Cub Scouts or playing baseball or soccer, he told me that he only played football. I strongly believe that he never actually did those things. He is just desperately trying to get his son to see him as accomplished, when in fact, he is not. And by stealing our son’s thunder and refocusing the attention on himself, he is killing any potential meaningful relationship with our son. No one likes being one upped all the time.
My children are 7 and 10 now, and he still does baby talk to them. It is disgusting. He just doesn’t know how to effectively communicate with them. He is what I call an “over-talker.” He does not take the time to listen to them, he just keeps talking as they are trying to tell him about their day. He acts so out of touch with reality. Even though their father rarely sees them now because he moved across the country, he still calls most every night and says the same things to the kids and proceeds to give them the latest “countdown” until they “come to daddy’s house,” as if they were getting ready to blast off into space. However, as far as I am concerned, being shuttled headlong into the vast emptiness of outer space, without vital support and meaningful communication with others, I would imagine that is exactly what a trip to daddy’s house feels like to the children based on their reports to me when they come back home.
Having a narcissist for a father is constantly frustrating for children. They don’t feel heard, they certainly do not feel understood. Children do not feel safe or free to think for themselves and are constantly seeking the narcissist’s approval in all matters. Narcissists have an emotional void in the space where empathy should reside. This lack of empathy is what makes a narcissist. That is also what makes a psychopath and sociopath, truth be told.
Related: My blog posts on How to Save your Children from a Narcissistic Parent. and How to go No Contact with a Narcissist when you have Children with one.
3 thoughts on “Narcissistic fathers and their children”
This is sadly familiar…My heart aches that my kids (14 & 11), feel shame for not being who the dad (a sociopath) wants them to be. Of course, it is my fault…
I totally relate to all of this, except I’m the child of a narcissistic father. The way you’ve explained it also helps me understand some of my own experiences better. I really feel for your kids, and for you too. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your kids are lucky to have such an amazing and caring mother.
Thank you for your comments! I am so happy that my experiences could provide some help or understanding. Your kind words made my day! I wish you all the best in this approaching new year!!