By Seth Meyers, Psy.D.
A narcissistic parent is one who is motivated to raise children who will fit into a role prescribed for them by the parent. Think of the parent as an architect, drawing plans for what the house—in this case, the child—should look like. The narcissistic parent has set ideas from the start about how his or her child will dress and act, and what they will achieve. Narcissistic parents are extremely image conscious and have a strict need for their offspring to fit the image they have prescribed.
The narcissistic parent is motivated by the wish for their child to achieve a fixed type of success conceptualized by the parent alone. Narcissistic parents often did not achieve all their personal or career dreams, and so they look to their children to overcompensate for their own shortcomings and perform, perform, perform.