Raising Resilient Children with a Borderline or Narcissistic Parent
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Life in a narcissistic family system is at best challenging, and too often filled with chaos, isolation, emotional outbursts, and rigid controlling behaviors. It is too often devoid of peace and emotional safety. In the worst outcomes, children in these families grow up with low self-worth, issues with trust and belonging, and a lack of self-compassion. They are at significant risk of carrying the cycle forward and having poor adult relationships.
This book offers a way to intervene and disrupt the cycle of negative outcomes for children. Written by two family therapists who bring a combined total of sixty years of clinical practice with individuals and families, the book pulls no punches, giving clear-headed advice, easy to follow actions to help children, and an abundance of teaching examples.
Instead of the doom and gloom scenarios often presented about life with a narcissist or borderline, this book provides a much more positive outlook, and most importantly, it offers hope and a path to an entirely different outcome for the family members. Supported by current research in neuroscience, mindfulness and parenting information, the book focuses on teaching resilience and self-compassion to raise emotionally healthy children, even in a narcissistic family system.
It starts by helping parents get a clear understanding of what they face with a narcissistic or borderline partner. There is no room here for denial, but there are also many options to explore. It explains how and why the narcissistic family system functions so poorly for raising healthy children, and pinpoints the deficits while providing information on how to intervene more effectively for the benefit of the children.
Using their years of experience, the authors present ideas for staying together as well as knowing when to leave the relationship and how best to do that. Emphasis throughout the book is on supporting and strengthening the reader with encouragement, concrete ideas, skills and compassionate understanding.
Part I: When the Other Parent Is Narcissistic or Borderline
Chapter 1: Self-Focused Parenting
Chapter 2: What the Narcissistic Family Is Like for Children
Chapter 3: What the Narcissistic Family Is Like for You
Chapter 4 Narcissistic Family System: Patterns and Problems
Part II: Building Resilience
Chapter 5: Resilient Parent, Resilient Child
Chapter 6: Changing Directions
Chapter 7: Building Your Own Resilience
Chapter 8: Self-Compassion: Key to Developing Healthy Self-Worth
Chapter 9: Creating an Environment to Thrive
Chapter 10: Responsive Parenting
Chapter 11: Help Your Children Develop Self-Compassion
Chapter 12: Help Your Children Have Their Own Lives
Part III: Parenting Will Be Different
Chapter 13: What to Say: Handling Family Communication
Chapter 14: What Not to Say and Do
Chapter 15: Responding to Emotional and Physical Dangers
Chapter 16: Assessing Your Situation
Chapter 17: Parenting in the Same Household
Chapter 18: Parenting After Divorce
Chapter 19: Being a Good Enough Parent
Chapter 20: Final Words
Appendix A: Vocabulary of Feeling Words
Appendix B: Communication Prompts
Appendix C: Suggested Reading
About the Authors
JEAN MCBRIDE, MS, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has maintained a private practice for thirty years. Her areas of specialization include divorce adjustment, high conflict divorce, parenting after divorce, and remarriage and stepfamilies. As president of Divorce Transitions, she taught court ordered parenting after divorce classes to over 20,000 parents in person and online, using a curriculum that she developed. She has additionally developed programs for stepfamily adjustment, and Are You Ready to Remarry? She is the author of Encouraging Words for New Stepmothers, and Talking to Children about Divorce: A Parent's Guide to Healthy Communication at Each Stage of Divorce. McBride has been a popular speaker on the topics of divorce and remarriage and has trained professionals for the Stepfamily Association of America, Collaborative Divorce, and The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. You can reach her at her website, divorcehelpforparents.com. She resides in Fort Collins, Colorado.