Gentle reader, do you have *any* clue whatsoever how much MamaBear hates parents who crave to live through their children's accomplishments???
Well, actually, let me amend that statement.
- Feeling pride for a kid…
Okay, that's gold.
- Feeling joy that your child overcame his or her limitations and proved to themselves that they were capable of greatness…
Yep, that's the stuff of which epic legends like MacGyver are built.
Have you ever seen the cheerleading moms or the football dads who are sooo focused upon regaining their own personal glory that they lose sight of the fact….
It's not *their* life anymore?
Yep, me too…and let me tell you, it frosts MamaBear's petunias more than the last Ice Age quick-froze furry wooly mammoths!
When you see yourself through your children's accomplishments, all you are doing is patting yourself on the back and being an awesome support system of…..
And that *one* *ain't* the most important one…ie, your child.
Heck, you end up satisfying your needs…and your needs *only*…at the expense of your child.
Not good whatsoever!!
Which brings me to the next critical point.
If you're a narcissistic parent, you're willingly damaging your child *right now* and you simply have got to *stop*.
What are some signs of people like you?
Let's see….they could include:
- You never let your child show real emotions in public. After all, if they did…you might get embarrassed that the attention has shifted away from you.
- You refuse to let your child grow independent. Perish the thought! They might come up with ideas that do *not* put your parenting in a good light.
- At kid events, you must be the center of attention. The more the better. After all, who is more important?
- You never consider that your actions damage your child's self-esteem. I mean, how could they? Your children had better think the way *you* want them to.
- Your child is always at fault. It's never you, because you never make parenting mistakes.
- You always hold out on 100% praise. Your kid got a 101 grade? Why didn't he or she skip a grade instead?
- You observe zero parenting boundaries. The concept of privacy is alien to you, because after all, your child belongs to you. Kinda sorta like your prized collection of footballs. No privacy is required.
- You bring up the past when dealing with the present. "You were always difficult/annoying/stupid/worthless/etc.! There's no hope you'll grow (and hence, grow away from me).
If you see yourself in anything of the above, be aware.
You're inflicting wounds on your children that might never heal.
So take ownership of your failure and start making it into a success.
For even more information, check out:
- Dear Teenager with Narcissistic Mother
- Getting Over a Narcissistic Mother
- Growing up with a narcissistic mother
- How to cope with narcissistic father
- The narcissistic parent
Yes, it's lousy that you've been such a crummy parent to this date.
But it doesn't mean you cannot take the steps to fix it today!
Your children….are counting on you.
And that…says it all.
ps – Need more resources? Consider:
I totally agree with you. I swell with pride when my kids do well….not because it is MY accomplishment..but because they made themselves proud…and when they don’t do so well…I do let them have their own emotions…
I have seen one too many fights among parents at baseball games that truly make me sick to my stomach.
Hi Mama Bear,
Another great post! It’s a strange motivation that occurs when people live their lives through their children. It often begins because they want to give their kids the chance in life that they felt they never received. The sad part is, that was exactly their own parent’s motivation that drove them to give them the upbringing they had.
In order for your kids to have a different chance, you have to focus on what you DO want for them, not on avoiding your own experience. That’s pretty tough if you don’t see the difference!
Thanks so much for coming by, Dan! It can really be a vicious cycle…but one that simply *has* to be broken.
Hi Mama Bear, I met my bio mom in 2008 after a separation of 36 years. She is constantly seeking fault for me not living up to her expectations of communication, saying she is my birthmother, that she brought me into this world. At 18 months she broke my legs and while I have forgiven her years prior to our reconnecting, I feel like I need to prove myself, that when she says I forgive you for not being better connected to me, for confiding in your people. She lays on these guilt trips and I find it exhausting, her caustic words hurtful. Recently she sent me the following after I asked her if/why she is not talking to me anymore. I have limited resources and do the best I can to stay in touch, but I feel like I cannot fulfill her expectations and I do not know what to do. I feel like I have to prove myself to her and it really stinks. here is her email:
“It is not a matter of stepping out, how can I step out when I already am on the sidelines? I will send several emails before I get one in return. I have not received even a card from you or Adam in 2 years, so fine, I am not worth a postage stamp, I accepted that. No big deal, right? Our relationship has remained miminal. I am your birth mother, I served the purpose of bringing you into this world because Creator wanted you here, yet you have your people that you turn to, lean on, confide in and share with. Adam has his Nana’s and Papa’s there, what does me for? This is pretty much your choice. I don’t feel like “Mom”. I don’t feel special. You have time and time again said you were gonna do and that is as far as it went, from the picture of Samantha, to pictures of Adam, or the couple of “sending you a little something” that never came. Yet, for the stings and such that you have delivered to me, I have forgiven you, yet forgivness does not a relationship make, right? It takes a lot of work, honesty and continuity, something that has been lacking between you and I. You are great with words dear child, yet you need to learn to walk your talk from the heart minus the manipulations. So if my being tired of feeling like an after thought for now and then contact means I am stepping out then yeah, am stepping out, and you know what sweetie? you won’t even know I’m gone. Take care KK? May Creator hold you and Adam close.”
Wow, lots of hugs to you for having to deal with such a toxic parent. 🙁
You need to take back your own power when dealing with hurtful parents; repeat to yourself, this is all she knows and if she wants to fling around accusations, there’s no reason for me to take them to heart. She’s in her own little hurtful world…but I can choose to accept she will never change and simply let go of the past.
You cannot change your mom, alas…but you can change how you choose to react. NEver let anyone assume power over you; you’re ‘way too precious a person to suffer like that. Lots of good thoughts to you!