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Can a person be both the golden child and the scapegoat at different times in

their life with their same parent(s)? If so, how would this happen?


Narcissistic Parents see their child/children as an extension of themselves. They covertly do not allow them to be individuals, with their own feelings or choices.

The golden child picks up on this expectation and conforms to stay in the favouring parents good books.

However this might cause a triangular relationship between them and the other parent who can become jealous of all the attention this child is getting causing them to feel excluded. This can then affect their relationship with the child. The child then can become the scapegoat of the second parent who acts out of their jealousy, sometimes unconsciously, not realising games are being played by the alienating parent.

Eventually when the child gets older and wants to make their own choices and becomes less enmeshed with the favouring parent, the parent will not like having less control over the child and can turn to scapegoating the child or adult child.


It's essential if one of the parents is aware of these dynamics that they organise family therapy for themselves and the child to bring about some healing. Even if the narcissistic parent does not wish to attend agreement could be sought for themselves and the child to attend the therapy.


For more information about the subjects covered in this blog, contact Margaret Parkes - phone: 086 832 0422 email: mparkestherapy@gmail.com

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