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Do narcissists compete with their own children for attention?

Yes, in my work I have found that both male and female narcissists can compete with their own children. Their need to be the centre of attention drives this behaviour.

Sadly I also have experienced many cases where this behaviour manifested as early as when the mother had just given birth or was breastfeeding.

It seems to be at this point that the relationship becomes coersively abusive and even physically abusive. I have experienced clients being abandoned for days on end, at a time when they needed love and support and then being coercively abused upon their partner's return.

Something changes for some male narcissists now that they are not the partner's main focus.

Female narcissists appear to manage with their children when they are very young and have no voice. They have complete power and control and they appear comfortable with this stage. The child is dependent on them.

But as the child grows older and becomes more spirited cracks can appear as they have less control and they can be jealous of their childs new life and relationships as they feel left behind.

They can also become jealous of the relationships between the siblings too, or the relationships between the children, or a particular child and the father. So they sometimes try to control the communications network and may create divisiveness in the process.

Again the key is awareness, get systemic therapeutic help for the family system if you see any of these red flags, help your children process pain and find their voice, because such dynamics have a detrimental affect on everyone in the family.

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

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