This article was written by a very brave young man who has been through some difficult times. It was his idea to write this article after a particularly good counseling session. And I think it is perfect that he is eager to help other children his age (and their parents) to get through difficult times they may be going through as well. I pray his heart will continue to grow toward the wellbeing of others!
Living with a narcissist can be difficult, especially for children. I am 10 years old and in counseling currently. I have been since mid 2021. And that is actually step 1 of my list!
Table of Contents
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent With Counseling
Counseling is most likely step 1 of supporting a child with a narcissistic parent. My counselor helps me with most things in life, from sleeping troubles to, of course, having a narcissistic parent. She is specially trained to know exactly how to help me. If you start working with a counselor, make sure she knows about narcisssism and how to help!
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent With Fidgets
Some things that I think can help if your child is stressed are fidgets. Fidgets are step 2 of how to support a child with a narcissistic parent. I use fidgets to keep my stress levels low and to wind down a little. My favorite fidgets are: squishy foam (and squishy toys in general) and–something that really annoys my family because they are really loud–are pop tubes. To see more of this check the pictures below which contain links.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent With a Listening Ear
Step 3 is…you guessed it…simply listen. Listening can be a huge help because not everyone wants to be talked to, but instead to be listened to.
When people don’t listen to me, I feel like I don’t have the support I need to have. But when people do listen, I feel like someone is willing to put in the time and effort to help me out when I’m in a bad situation or just need someone who cares.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by not Forcing Them to Talk
Step 4 is don’t force children of narcissistic parents into conversation. Ask if they are comfortable to talk about their relationship with a narcissistic parent. And if they are, discuss what problems they have and how they want you to help them.
When I was dealing with the stress of custody hearings in court with my dad, there were several people who make me feel comfortable enough to talk. They were my guardian-ad-litem, the judge, and my counselor. Because I was comfortable talking to them, it made the court case go much better and they helped me to get what was best for my life.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by Spending Quality Time With Them
For step 5, sometimes parent time can be crucial in a tough situation. I figured out that it takes a lot of work to help your child through the traumatic times. My mother and brothers comforted me and let me vent. And one of my brothers went with me to parent time, even though he wasn’t required to, so I would feel safer. Not everything is as easy as just throwing a baseball. Sometimes it was just too difficult to spend time with my father, even if the planned activity was something I liked to do.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by Limiting Time With the Narcissistic Parent
Step 6 is to try to have your child have as little time as possible with their narcissistic parent. Anything can happen in a time frame of 30 minutes to in my case, 11 hours. I had to spend 9AM-8PM with my dad every other Saturday and Sunday for almost a year until the court said I didn’t have to. I was very glad when I didn’t have to spend so much time with my dad anymore. The time with him was very difficult for a lot of reasons.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by Doing Activities That Keep the Child From Thinking too Much About Life
Step 7 is that sports are a great way to keep your child distracted from their problems with their parent. Anywhere from soccer to baseball. I personally like soccer, basketball, and football. Sometimes school sports aren’t the best because it can result in a competitive personality, I prefer recreation sports because it’s more for fun rather than heavy competition.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by Finding a Suitable Mentor
Step 8 is to find a good father/mother figure for your child, a friend from church, and if you don’t go to church, even older siblings can help. If you have a step-father that you are close to, that is the best!
I have a really close brother that in fact, has a masters degree in psychology. He helps the same ways that my counselor does, from sleeping to my problems with, in my case, my father. He got a degree in psychology to help other people struggling with the same problems my family has.
I also have a family friend from our last church who I call “Uncle D_.” He has done a really job taking me and my brothers out and having fun to help get our minds off the situation we were in. It felt almost like having a father sometimes.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by Allowing Them to do New Things
Step 9 is to do things your child was never able to do with a narcissistic parent. For example, I’ve always wanted to go go-karting but I was never able to with my father in the house. Now I can!
I also got into church ministry. I was a Shine Time Kid at my church. Our group helped to lead worship by singing, dancing, praying, and communion.
Supporting the Child of a Narcissistic Parent by Encouraging Their Creativity, Especially During Down Times
Step 10 is drawing. Get a sketchbook for your child, this can help with stress relief and can just be a fun activity to do. My mom put a sketchbook on my nightstand so I can draw and write at bedtime to help relax and fall asleep.
I also really love painting and other art projects. Every time I do a painting or art project, they get better.
Make Sure to Continue Family Days so The Child of a Narcissistic Parent Doesn’t Feel Displaced
Step 11 is family days. Family days can help a lot, my family usually does family days on Fridays or Saturdays. Sometimes we go bowling. Sometimes we go to a theme park.
My absolute favorite family day was a trip to the batting cages with my step dad, older brother, and mom. I was afraid at first, but once I saw my step dad do it, I was excited to try it. I was instantly addicted.
Afterwards, we went to get ice cream at a really cool western-themed ice cream parlor.
Support the Child of a Narcissistic Parent With Gardening or other Nature-related Hobbies
Step 12 is planting. Planting is a great idea if your kid likes the feeling of progress. I often like to plant vegetables and a small variety of flowers. My step dad helps me to plant and water. He knows so much about planting. I am excited to see all of my flowers and vegetables grow!
Supporting Children of a Narcissistic Parent With Simulator Games (or Other Games)
Step 13 is Simulators. If your kid likes simulator games I recommend: American Truck Simulator, Bus Simulator, Flight Simulator and Planet Coaster. Planet Coaster is my favorite.
On Planet Coaster, I like to make launch coasters and really huge (300ft+) chainlift coasters. Planet Coaster has inspired me to get over my fear of coasters. I actually just went on all of the roller coasters at Busch Gardens last week! Just a month ago, I was too scared to go on all of them except for one.
Spend Time in Nature to Support Children of Narcissistic Parents
Step 14 is nature activities. Nature activities help to connect us to the real world. Camping can be fun and I was also thinking of bird watching. Nature activities are overall a great idea and are fun almost 100% of the time.
Have a Family Movie Night to Support Children of Narcissists
Step 15 is one of my favorites: family movie night. Family movie night is a great time to do movie marathons and just to watch fun movies. I recommend watching Disney as it can be entertaining for all ages. My favorites are every Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Encanto and every Toy Story movie. And I really loved the Rocky movies.
Have a Family Campfire or Other Family Activity to Support Children of Narcissists
Step 16 is to have a family campfire. We like doing campfires in the spring and fall. The best part is cooking hot dogs over the fire and making s’mores and hanging out!
Use Kinetic Sand as a Soothing Support for Children of Narcissists
Step 17 is kinetic sand. Kinetic Sand is 1: really satisfying, and 2: really fun. A great activity and a great idea. Kinetic Sand can be found at Walmart and most likely Target and many more stores. Click the picture below for more on Kinetic Sand.
There are so many ways to support a child with a narcissistic parent. And this is only a fraction of the ways. What things do you do to help children of narcissistic parents? Let us know in the comments. If you have any questions, feel free to say them in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this article. Bye!