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Parenting resources for those raised by narcissists

(157 Posts)
buildingmycorestrength Fri 29-Mar-13 20:17:12

Hi, I've been over on Herrena's 'regale me with hilarious/ridiculous things your narcissist has said or done' thread. I had a narc dad and when I became a parent I had a lot of problems dealing to do with children! I was frightened of my child, got angry easily, had no idea what was normal.

I think this pretty standard for people who grew up in dysfunctional families...and I turned to books for help. Like I always do .

I read some books that didn't help much at all. Unconditional parenting books were great in some ways because they focused so much on loving and caring, which were hard for me and didn't come naturally. BUT I had no common sense to temper them with partly because of not having much experience with children but also because of not really knowing about normal boundaries. I ended up with a three-year-old tyrant which didn't work at all. grin

Then I went to parenting classes, which were really incredibly helpful. Specifically I was on a course called 'Raising Children' which dealt with assertiveness, what children need, boundaries, and much more.

From there, I ended up watching the 123 Magic DVD. My husband and I watched this together, and I dithered a lot about it all, but can honestly say I think it saved our family. A very gentle discipline system that is practical, friendly, and works. The DVD is really funny too. I also have the book for backup.

I found two other books really helpful as well. Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen gave me really concrete strategies for playing and connecting with my kids (and how to deal with boring play). Buddhism for Mothers was also really helpful for general mindfulness practice. (I'm not a Buddhist, by the way, am actually a church goer- but loved this book.)

These three resources work really well together...123 Magic focuses on behaviour, Playful Parenting on connection, and Buddhism for Mothers on getting my own head right. I don't think I could be trusted to follow one book, because of not really knowing the common sense limits to what they are saying. So I usually take bits from several and sort of patch them together.

Full disclosure: I also had group therapy and individual therapy, both focused on CBT.

I'd be really interested to hear if others from dysfunctional families or with narcissistic parents in particular, have found their own helpful resources for parenting.

spanky2 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:45:57

Alwaysonemissing your df sounds very similar to my dad. Unfortunately he has written an untrue email to my dh and has said he 'doesn't see any point in contacting me again '.sad

spanky2 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:47:45

Reading through these posts I see some of my feelings are similar to other children of narcissists . What a relief.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 01-Aug-13 21:10:03

Hi spanky. You are not alone. Have you read the 'regale me' thread in Relationships? Full of the wild and wacky things that narcissists do and say, most of which people wouldn't believe if you said it in real life.

And have you had a look at the 'stately homes' thread? That is a very safe place to deal with some feelings about dysfunctional families. They are very tricky!


strongerandstronger Thu 01-Aug-13 23:03:53

Marking my place.

LucyTheLittlestLioness Fri 02-Aug-13 14:19:32

meiisme I think I will buy that book. I know what you mean about not rushing things though, I am always wanting to rush things and be 'fixed' but I think a big part for me is properly realising that feelings cannot be 'fixed' in the quick way that I would like them to be smile

I have been trying to make sure I am giving each of my dc 5 minutes of individual attention each day. I think part of my problem is that having 3 dc I easily feel overwhelmed and withdraw when I have them all together. But with individual one on one time, which is getting more possible all the time as they get older, it's easier to engage properly with each of them and I try to let myself just go with the flow and enjoy being with them as individuals.

building I have similar issues not trusting my instincts. Sometimes I am not quite sure what my instincts even are. I think it's especially hard when dc are disagreeing over something I find it difficult to stick with the situation and understand and follow who is right or wrong in the situation. I guess this is partly to do with me struggling with how I deal with conflict generally. But at the same time, I don't think I should give myself too hard a time, as I imagine any parent would feel similarly confused sometimes about their children's disagreements.

A bit of a ramble, but chill the fuck out for me too I guess.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 19-Aug-13 08:17:07

Hi all, am just back from holiday and it was much needed. Time to remember that we all quite like each other, actually! I was careful to try to catch myself feeling like we 'should' do certain things as that is always a sign that I'm going weird and controlling.

Hope your summers are all going okay. I know the next couple of weeks are going to be hard but I'm going to rest after lunch every day and not try to do anything emotionally taxing for me. Just focus on kids and necessary housework for now. They go back to school in a couple of weeks so there'll be more space then.

nenehooo Mon 19-Aug-13 08:32:04

Marking place - just starting to wonder whether DH's mother is toxic...

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