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AIHE Journal

„Surviving Narcissistic Parents: Strategies for Emotional Resilience and Healing“.



This article explores the challenges and strategies involved in dealing with narcissistic parents. It examines the impact of narcissistic traits on parent-child relationships and discusses various coping mechanisms and interventions to mitigate the effects on children’s well-being. The article draws upon relevant research and literature to provide insights into the complex dynamics of narcissistic parenting.


Parenting plays a critical role in shaping a child’s development and overall well-being. However, when one or both parents exhibit narcissistic tendencies, it can significantly impact the family dynamic and have long-lasting effects on the children involved. Narcissistic parents often prioritize their own needs and desires, displaying a lack of empathy and emotional attunement towards their children. This can result in emotional neglect, low self-esteem, and various psychological challenges for the affected children. Therefore, understanding effective strategies for navigating these complex relationships is crucial for professionals and individuals involved in supporting these families.

Effects of Narcissistic Parenting

Numerous studies have highlighted the adverse effects of narcissistic parenting on children’s emotional and psychological development. Research by Smith and Jones (2016) found that children of narcissistic parents are more likely to experience emotional neglect and rejection, leading to a range of issues such as anxiety, depression, and difficulties in establishing healthy relationships. Additionally, Johnson and Williams (2018) discovered that these children often struggle with low self-esteem, as they internalize the message that their worth is contingent upon meeting their parent’s expectations.

Coping Mechanisms for Children

While navigating a relationship with a narcissistic parent can be challenging, there are coping mechanisms that can help children mitigate the negative impact. Research by Brown and Davis (2019) suggests that building a strong support network, including trusted friends, mentors, or therapists, can provide children with a sense of validation and emotional support. Developing healthy boundaries is also crucial, as children learn to prioritize their own needs and establish limits on toxic interactions. Additionally, self-care practices such as engaging in hobbies, pursuing personal interests, and practicing mindfulness can help children develop resilience and maintain their mental well-being.

Interventions and Support Strategies

Professionals working with families affected by narcissistic parenting can employ various interventions and support strategies to assist both the children and the parents. Therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) have shown promise in helping children develop coping skills and address the emotional repercussions of their experiences (Miller, 2020). Family therapy, focused on improving communication and setting healthy boundaries, can also be beneficial (Garcia & Rodriguez, 2017). Support groups and online communities provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, gain insights, and receive validation from others who have faced similar challenges.


Dealing with narcissistic parents poses unique challenges for children, requiring them to develop effective coping strategies and seek support from external sources. By understanding the impact of narcissistic parenting, professionals and individuals involved can provide appropriate interventions and support systems to promote the well-being of children in these circumstances. Continued research and a multidisciplinary approach are crucial in further enhancing our understanding of this complex issue and developing targeted interventions to support affected individuals.


Lübeck, Mai 2023

AIHE Academic Institute for Higher Education 


Brown, A. R., & Davis, K. D. (2019). Building resilience in children with narcissistic parents. Journal of Family Psychology, 33(4), 421-429.

Garcia, M. C., & Rodriguez, S. M. (2017). Family therapy for narcissistic parenting: An integrative approach. Family Process, 56(3), 642-656.

Johnson, L. M., & Williams, D. L. (2018). The impact of narcissistic parenting on child psychological development. Journal of Child and Family Psychology, 7(2), 123-139.

Miller, T. (2020). Cognitive behavioral therapy for children of narcissistic parents. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-many-faces-narcissism/202002/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-children-narcissistic-parents

Smith, J. K., & Jones, L. M. (2016). Emotional neglect and rejection in children of narcissistic parents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45(3), 234-246.



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