6 Types of Emotional Abuse by Narcissistic Parents



Narcissistic Parents or caregivers who display rejecting behavior toward a child will often [purposefully or unconsciously] let a child know, in a variety of ways, that he or she is unwanted. Putting down a child’s worth or belittling their needs is one form these types of emotional abuse may take. Other examples can include telling a child to leave or worse, to get out of your face, calling him names or telling the child that he is worthless, making a child the family scapegoat or blaming him for family/sibling problems. Refusing to talk to or holding a young child as he or she grows can also be considered abuse.

    • constant criticism
    • name-calling
    • telling child he/she is ugly
    • yelling or swearing at the child
    • frequent belittling and use of labels such as “stupid” or “idiot”
    • constant demeaning jokes
    • verbal humiliation
    • constant teasing about child’s body type and/or weight
    • expressing regret the child wasn’t born the opposite sex
    • refusing hugs and loving gestures
    • physical abandonment
    • excluding child from family activities
    • treating an adolescent like he is a child
    • expelling the child from the family
  • not allowing a child to make his own reasonable choices


Adults who have had few of their emotional needs met are often unable to respond to the needs of their children. They may not show attachment to the child or provide positive nurturing. They may show no interest in the child, or withhold affection or even fail to recognize the child’s presence. Many times the parent is physically there but emotionally unavailable. Failing to respond to or interact with your child, consistently, constitutes emotional and psychological abuse.

    • no response to infant’s spontaneous social behaviors
    • failure to pay attention to significant events in child’s life
    • lack of attention to schooling, peers, etc.
    • refusing to discuss your child’s activities and interests
    • planning activities/vacations without including your child
    • not accepting the child as an offspring
    • denying required health care
    • denying required dental care
    • failure to engage child in day to day activities
  • failure to protect child


Parents who use threats, yelling and cursing are doing serious psychological damage to their children. Singling out one child to criticize and punish or ridiculing her for displaying normal emotions is abusive. Threatening a child with harsh words, physical harm, abandonment or in extreme cases death is unacceptable. Even in jest, causing a child to be terrified by the use of threats and/or intimidating behavior is some of the worst emotional abuse. This includes witnessing, hearing or knowing that violence is taking place in the home.

    • excessive teasing
    • yelling, cursing and scaring
    • unpredictable and extreme responses to a child’s behavior
    • extreme verbal threats
    • raging, alternating with periods of warmth
    • threatening abandonment
    • berating family members in front of or in ear range of a child
    • threatening to destroy a favorite object
    • threatening to harm a beloved pet
    • forcing child to watch inhumane acts
    • inconsistent demands on the child
    • displaying inconsistent emotions
    • changing the “rules of the game”
    • threatening that the child is adopted or doesn’t belong
    • ridiculing a child in public
    • threatening to reveal intensely embarrassing traits to peers
  • threatening to kick an adolescent out of the house

FACT: Children and youth who witness family violence experience all six types of emotional abuse.

4. Isolating

A parent who abuses a child through isolation may not allow the child to engage in appropriate activities with his or her peers; may keep a baby in his or her room, not exposed to stimulation or may prevent teenagers from participating in extracurricular activities. Requiring a child to stay in his or her room from the time school lets out until the next morning, restricting eating, or forcing a child to isolation or seclusion by keeping her away from family and friends can be destructive and considered emotional abuse depending on the circumstances and severity.

    • leaving a child unattended for long periods
    • keeping a child away from family
    • not allowing a child to have friends
    • not permitting a child to interact with other children
    • rewarding a child for withdrawing from social contact
    • ensuring that a child looks and acts differently than peers
    • isolating a child from peers or social groups
    • insisting on excessive studying and/or chores
    • preventing a child from participating in activities outside the home
  • punishing a child for engaging in normal social experiences

5. Corrupting

Parents who corrupt may permit children to use drugs or alcohol, watch cruel behavior toward animals, watch or look at inappropriate sexual content or to witness or participate in criminal activities such as stealing, assault, prostitution, gambling, etc.
Encouraging an underage child to do things that are illegal or harmful is abusive and should be reported.

    • rewarding child for bullying and/or harassing behavior
    • teaching racism and ethnic biases or bigotry
    • encouraging violence in sporting activities
    • inappropriate reinforcement of sexual activity
    • rewarding a child for lying and stealing
    • rewarding a child for substance abuse or sexual activity
    • supplying child with drugs, alcohol and other illegal substances
  • promoting illegal activities such as selling drugs

6. Exploiting

Exploitation can be considered manipulation or forced activity without regard for a child’s need for development. For instance, repeatedly asking an eight-year-old to be responsible for the family’s dinner is inappropriate. Giving a child responsibilities that are far greater than a child of that age can handle or using a child for profit is abusive.

    • infants and young children expected not to cry
    • anger when infant fails to meet a developmental stage
    • a child expected to be ‘caregiver’ to the parent
    • a child expected to take care of younger siblings
    • blaming a child for misbehavior of siblings
    • unreasonable responsibilities around the house
    • expecting a child to support family financially
    • encouraging participation in pornography
  • sexually abusing child or youth

Credit to teach through love. com


Posted on November 2, 2013, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.

  1. I am 49 and cannot bear the thought of dealing with
    my narcissistic mother. I am tired of being abused in every way, except sexually, and I will never be a match for her. I give up and I don’t even care if she will be able to cash in my life insurance policy that she took out on me when I was born!! Hopefully my body won’t ever surface, so that will make it harder to fight with the insurance company. She is pure evil, and doesn’t suffer in any way. I donderstand why she gets to inflict so much pain on fwithout any repercussions ?!?! I know she will play the victim and martyr when it’s discovered what I’ve done, but I have already tried toret tell my brother and my Godmother about how she sec


    • I truly hope having just read your comment you haven’t let her win!


    • Having just read your comment, I truly hope you haven’t let her win!


    • Are you alright Melanie? I know how you feel.If you need someone to talk to leave a reply here and then I will give you my email


    • Hi Melanie, my mum is a narcissist too. I am 47 and I’m doing really well now, but, I wont lie, it took some time and it was painful, but no more than what I was going through anyway; the difference was I was working my way out so it was worth it. I was living independently when I had an argument with my mum and had no contact for 11 years, the last 5 has been limited and very superficial. I had a lot of good therapy, did things that interested me like classes at the local adult education centre (eg pottery, jewellery making, there’s loads of stuff) I think getting in touch with your creative side is important. I have also been working on my education as I couldn’t learn at school. I did a self esteem workshop and learned along the way to drop people from my life who weren’t good for me. I am now a member of a couple of support groups on facebook and watch youtube videos for help. I’ve started a Mindfulness course which is meant to be very helpful to ACoNP and it does seem to be good for me. You say you will never be a match for her, I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that. I suspect you have no idea of your value or that there are so many people who understand what you have been going through and want to be there for you. You can heal from narcissistic abuse and go on to live a happy life loving yourself the way you deserve to be loved. Narcissist Support on facebook and youtube is a good place to start, I hope to see you there. All my best wishes, Lorna :) x https://youtu.be/ak1JVR_Bv3A


    • You are so loved, Dont let her win! Live!!!!!!


    • Call Lifeline.
      Phone: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
      Website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org


  2. Story of my life


  3. My mother too. She emotionally and psychologically killed Dad. He died at 64. She is still alive at 86. Why? Filled with self righteous judgements towards me and turns siblings against me. They are hanging in for the will and hate me too but I have mr own hard earned money so don’t need their abuse.


  4. I am 47 yrs old and unfortunatly live with my parents at the time,I have been back home since April of 1995 and never planned to be back here this long,I was in my 4th month of Cosmetology school,(My dream career) That’s all it seems to be anymore is a dream,I have taken my State boards 5xs and to this day have not passed,I gave up for a long time now,Plus was told I hve to take everything I passed over again, I was Diagnosed w/ Tempol Lobe Epilepsy at age 16 due to constant High fevers as a newborn and almost death after spending the 1st 2 months of my life in the Hospital and almost didn ‘t. come home. My mother has been a RN since 1978 and had an addiction in the 80″s and lost her nursing lincense due to it for 3 yrs,She never gives me any support and always thinks that I am just starved for attention, My mother also fratured her spine in 2004 and now sleeps 24/7 and misses Apts, She swirves a lot and gets upset if anything is said to her about anything,She now wonders why I don’t help her w/things around the home and won’t see why,I haven’t driven since June of 2014 due to income for Insurance.I am on my 5th try for Disability and she will not help me try for it one bit,She has hers,That’s all that matters to her.She woke up late for an apt, that was 45 minutes from our home and only had 15 mins to get there and was swirving and ran red lights and was flipping people off,She needs some serious help.No one in my family notices and all she can do is walk around the house swearin!


  5. There’s another one Engulfing which some narcissistic parents do, especially mothers


  6. Becoming an adult, having my own children, and moving away from my family has been extremely revealing. Unfortunately, I believed that BOTH of my narcissistic, abusive parents were normal for a very long time. Despite my friends and other adults telling me that their behavior was unacceptable, I truly believed they were just better and more honest than other parents. It wasn’t until I noticed myself becoming extremely stressed and angry at normal responsibilities of adulthood that I realized something about my upbringing was wrong. I’ve always been told that I’m just like my abusive alcoholic father. I’ve always been told that I’m ungrateful and cold hearted. I will never accept that kind of treatment again.
    Guys, if you feel in your heart that something is wrong, it probably is. Hold on to the small but strong inner-child and stand up for yourself and your children. Do not accept narcissistic or abusive behavior as normal. Get yourself out and get yourself some help.


  1. Pingback: 6 Types of Emotional Abuse by Narcissistic Parents | After … | extraordinaryireland

  2. Pingback: Mis padres (que todo el mundo pensaba que eran tan perfectos cristianos) son extremadamente culpable de los cuatro primeros en la lista

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