There are two articles. The second one is useful, too, but harder to read because of all of picture jumps. The Problem with Narcissistic Parents A study byStress in Americarecently revealed that Millennials (ages 18 to 33) report the highest stress levels of any generation. It’s not necessarily wrong to chalk these pressures up to increased competition in college and the workplace, an ailing economy, or a culture geared toward multitasking. But let’s consider something a little more personal that may be at the source of increased stress levels. Let’s talk about something that may hit a little closer to home and, in fact, exist in the home of many children growing up today… the problem of narcissistic parents. These past few years, we’ve targeted helicopter parents and fought the “battle hymn of the tiger mother.” We’ve worried for the televised pageantry of “toddlers” and wondered whether “attachment parenting” was right or wrong. Yet, the problem of narcissistic parents may be at an all-time high. True, it can be a good thing that parents are taking a more active role in their child’s development. Remember the very first scene of “Mad Men,” in which a typical 1960s housewife scolds her child – not for the plastic bag she’s fixed around her head, but for the dry-cleaned dress the bag had contained that must be lying on the floor somewhere? While their parents and grandparents may have suffered through a culture that viewed children as second-class citizens, the kids of today, who are being raised as the focus of their household, are not necessarily better off. How Narcissistic Parents Live Through Their Children Parents who seem to be offering their kids something by immersing themselves in their children’s interests, activities, and accomplishments, are often taking more than they are giving. Narcissistic parents feed their own ego through the achievements of their children. Though the process is somewhat unconscious, they seek out ways to live through their child. A recent episode of NBC’s highly popular “Modern Family” illustrated this when housewife, Claire, took her teenage daughter, Alex, to an academic decathlon. Used to seeing her daughter victorious, Claire made snide comments to fellow parents and made sure to let the judges know whose mom she was. When Alex made a small mistake and was eliminated in round one, Claire made a scene and plotted ways to protest the loss. All the while, she tried to downplay and deny her deep investment in her daughter’s success. When Alex finally got it out of her, Claire confessed, “I like it too much when you win. I really love lording it over the other moms.” While it’s rare for narcissistic parents to reveal this of themselves, their investment in their child’s success is apparent to most people around them. This attitude is hardly selfless and often has nasty consequences. Another problem with narcissistic parents is that, while they may seem to support their children’s accomplishments, they often feel competitive with their children. They would like their child’s successes to reflect on them and attract attention to them, but at the same time, they do not want to be overshadowed by their kids. In this way, narcissistic parents don’t support a healthy sense of self-esteem in their children. Instead, they draw attention to themselves, using their children in a way that is disregarding and hurtful. The only use these parents have for their child is to reflect favorably upon them. Narcissistic parents often truly suffer from low self-esteem and are living through their children to compensate. Why Narcissistic Parents Overly Connect to Their Children Narcissistic parents want their child’s performance to reflect on them. The reasons for this are complex. Parents may be trying to compensate for what they believe are their own shortcomings. They may rely on their child’s success to bolster themselves up. In doing so, they are failing to see their child as a unique and autonomous individual. They refuse to recognize that their child is separate from them, with their own thoughts, feelings, and desires. A narcissistic parent tends to focus on or almost “feed” on their child’s accomplishments. They often do this, because something is lacking within them. They may try to use their child to fill an emptiness they feel within themselves. Parents with full lives, in which they have many interests, close relationships, and passions, often offer more to their children than those who give up everything to be with their kids. Though they do this in the name of love, they don’t realize that their conception of love is actually skewed. People often confuse love with emotional hunger. Parents who think they are giving their children love by showering them with constant attention are failing to see how much they are pulling on or draining the child. When a person feels a “need” or “longing” for their child, it can be a red flag that they are taking more than they are giving in the relationship. If a parent feels their child is “filling up” a part of them, for example, that they are their sole source of joy, it can be a further warning that they are experiencing emotional hunger toward their child. Love is an offering of encouragement, support, and affection. Emotional hunger provides just the opposite. The Effects of Growing Up with Narcissistic Parents The biggest problem with narcissistic parents is that, in trying to build their children up, they are actually neglecting to recognize and support their child’s independent sense of self. Instead, the child feels a heavy amount of pressure from their parents. They may carry fears of falling short and the sense that they will never be good enough. Their insecurities may lead them to become narcissistic themselves, seeking out attention and approval just to prove they are okay. Parents who give up their own lives enter the child’s world instead of inviting the child into theirs. Because, children learn by example, not having a parent who is fulfilled within themselves leaves the child with a sense of having to take care of that parent. They have to make them happy and offer support. This is a huge burden to put on a child, and it hurts them throughout their lives. They may recreate this dynamic in their relationships, looking for someone who inflates their ego or who tears them down in ways that support deepseated attitudes they have toward themselves. They may also seek out people, who, like their parents, use them to feel better about themselves. These dynamics can be harmful to an adult, but they are almost immoral to impose on a child. When we refuse to see our children as separate individuals, we project all of the negative and critical attitudes we have toward ourselves onto them. We may try to overcompensate for our parents’ mistakes, or we may reenact destructive patterns from our own childhoods. In either case, we are missing the mark with our kids. We are misattuned to their unique needs and insensitive to their true wants. By differentiating from our own past, we are better able to see our kids as separate from ourselves. Only then can we offer them real love as opposed to a fantasy of connection. Only then, can we appreciate our children for who they are and support them in reaching their full, unique potential. END, Article 1 Children of narcissistic parents often become narcissistic parents themselves, the author says. Kelly Wallace is CNN's digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. Read her other columns, and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter. (CNN)The dad stood as close to the goalpost as he could get, coaching his 9-year-old daughter from the sidelines of her recreational soccer league game. His daughter had two coaches, but that didn't matter. He was determined to coach her separately. "Move faster. Hands up. Get ready." "Come on. Stay alert. Get down low." He would not stop. And then you can probably guess what happened next. Related: How not to be a scary stage parent A girl on the opposing team kicked a ball right past her. Goal! The tears started to come down fast, and all I wanted to say to the dad of the goalie was, "Just. Leave. Her. Alone." We've all seen such parenting behavior countless times: Parents overly invested in their child's success, wanting to see their child achieve in sports, music, academics, you name it, competing with others via their children. It can take the form of both high praise and sharp criticism. And in the most extreme cases, there's actually a name for it: narcissistic parenting, according to Joseph Burgo, who devotes an entire chapter to this behavior in his new book "The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age." "The winner-loser dynamic is at the heart of extreme narcissism, and the narcissistic parent is somebody who plays that game through their children," said Burgo, a marriage and family therapist and clinical psychologist who has been practicing for more than 30 years. "They are the ones who are driven to create children who are winners, and not only are they winners, but they're better than other people's kids, and they will, in conversation, bring things up. They will bring up accomplishments, which schools their kids got accepted to, how much money they're earning, in order to make you feel bad -- your kid is less than them." Psychologist Joseph Burgo is the author of "The Narcissist You Know." Related: Parents may be to blame for narcissistic kids, says study Louise Sattler, a school psychologist, remembers acting auditions for her now grown daughter. The acting moms, she said, would be more "stealth" than the sports moms, and would just "casually" mention their child's success in the restroom when other people were around. "You would overhear the mom and daughter talking about, 'Oh, isn't it great that you just filmed so-and-so. This'll be a snap. You've already been in front of this producer,' " she said. "Anything to get into the mind of the poor kid who is going up for an audition." What's "tragic" about this type of parenting, said Burgo, is that it communicates to the children that they aren't loved and accepted for who they are. "They've got to perform. They've got to win to be accepted." Lori Day, an educational psychologist and former school administrator who runs her own consulting business, has seen firsthand the impact of narcissistic parents on children. "They are fragile. They have been told they are the greatest thing since sliced bread for their whole lives, while being terribly overprotected and overindulged by parents who live vicariously through them," said Day, who has a grown child of her own. "When they get to college, professors have a term for them: 'teacups,' because they are so fragile. Once they are separated from their doting, promoting parents, they struggle with basic skills of independence, their self-esteem is vulnerable and they lack resilience." Who becomes a narcissistic parent? I've often wondered about the narcissistic parents I've seen on the soccer field, at basketball games or even on Facebook. In my head, I've always thought they are living vicariously through their children to cover up any disappointments they might feel about their own lives. Burgo, who is also a father of three, says that is definitely part of the picture. "It's often a parent who feels that he or she has not achieved what she wanted in her own life, what (on) some level feels like a failure," he said. The parent then tries to fulfill his or her own goals "by making the child into a winner Top 5 parenting mistakes02:00 Related: Opinion: Crazed youth sports parents: You've gotta ease up! But there are also narcissistic parents who may have had traumatic childhood experiences and who, in essence, use the narcissistic parenting to cover their shame about their own lives. They humiliate and exploit their children by making them feel like losers, said Burgo. "More often, those children are pretty crippled by that experience, but sometimes they come out of it by being narcissists themselves in order to escape that feeling of shame." It does seem counterintuitive, but on balance, Burgo says, "narcissism begets narcissism." Children of narcissistic parents can become narcissistic parents themselves or marry one. "I've seen that in my practice so often, particularly with narcissistic women who had narcissistic mothers, end up marrying narcissistic men." Growing up with narcissistic parents Danielle Le Roy, chief financial officer for an information technology firm and a homeschooling mom of two, said she grew up with what she describes as narcissistic parents but has adopted an alternative parenting style with her own children. Her parents weren't "micromanagers," nor did they scream on the sidelines, she said. "They were more like high-achieving parents who seemed greatly pleased when their kids achieved in a similar manner The study 'not so cool' kids will love 02:42 Growing up, she said, she interpreted this message as, "You are what you achieve." Love and attention seemed very conditional, she said. While she and her brother went on to great success -- she as a lawyer and he as a doctor -- she said that throughout her academic career, she struggled with performance anxiety. Related: Brutally Honest: Is it OK to let you child fail? Her parents also didn't understand that she really didn't want to become a lawyer. "They didn't understand why I didn't feel loved unconditionally." As a parent herself, she is humbled by how challenging parenting can be and appreciates the things her parents did well but is taking a different approach when it comes to raising her two boys, who are 8 and 10. "My husband and I strive really hard to listen to what our kids are interested in, as opposed to imposing our own ideas of what 'success' looks like," she said. Advice: 'Focus less on wanting the best' for children[/paste:font] In our culture today, we place so much emphasis on being the best and being the winner, and that certainly makes modern parenting difficult, said Burgo. But he says there are key ways we can make sure we don't move into the narcissistic parenting arena. "I would focus less on wanting the best for your children and wanting them to be happy, wanting them to find meaningful work -- work that satisfies them," he said. "There is so much competition these days about getting into the best schools, getting into the Ivy League, the best kindergartens ... and your whole life will be ruined if you get off the path." He continued, "If you don't go to Harvard, you could still be happy." I admit it's not always easy grappling with that desire to want the best for your children. For instance, every time I walk into my children's classroom for a publishing party or another school event, I sometimes find myself starting to compare my child's work and performance with the other children's. And each time that happens, I ask myself, "What's that about? Is it more about my ego than a true concern for my daughter's well-being in school?" "The very fact that you're asking yourself that question, you are way ahead of the game," said Burgo. "That's what is needed. Just a healthy amount of self-reflection. It's the parents who don't realize that, who don't stop and ask themselves and then just start getting overly invested in their child being better than some other student." Can you stop a narcissistic parent? Amanda Rodriguez, a mom of three who is also team manager for two children's football teams and an elite basketball team, has had plenty of experience with narcissistic parents. She said she has seen parents, on more than one occasion, pull their children to the side after a game and sometimes even during one to yell at them about their performance. "And I mean full-on in-your-face yelling," said Rodriguez, the founder of the blogDudeMom. "No kid of theirs is going to be a loser," they will scream. When you first see it, said Rodriguez, you are caught off guard because you can't quite believe a parent is doing that to a child. While you may want to step in, you also have to be careful that you don't make it worse for the child, she said. Personally, she believes it's appropriate for parents to say something to the coach (or the teacher if it happens at school), and that person of authority should say something to the parent. "We have had to ban parents from events for their behavior, and I think that is totally an appropriate response, since our job as an organization is to keep kids safe and allow them to participate joyfully in athletic pursuits," she said. As much as other parents would love to take on any narcissistic parent they see -- on the playground, near the stage, at science camp, in the restroom -- Burgo says there's really no way to engage with an extreme narcissist directly. "If you challenge them, they'll engage in battle and they'll have to win, so you might just make yourself a target," he said. If you have a relationship with the child, you can be there for that child in a supportive way and acknowledge what he or she is going through. But sadly, trying to get the parents to "reform is a lost cause," Burgo said. "Extreme narcissists are kind of like alcoholics. They kind of need to hit bottom. They need to have a severe wake-up call of some kind" before they ever realize they have a problem and get help.