When a primary caregiver, like a mother, is somewhere on the narcissism spectrum (or is a narcissist,) any children in their care will be vulnerable to becoming targets of mistreatment or abuse. That’s because children don’t have the mental and emotional maturity to comprehend their circumstances or to set protective boundaries. Their age dictates complete dependence on and trust of the narcissistic caregiver. As a result, they can easily be manipulated and emotionally controlled.
All children need and want their parent’s approval and validation. If kids grow up in home environments that are competitive or where love is conditional, they realize that they have to be “the best” in order to be loved. Deep down, they understand that they must earn their parent’s or caregiver’s love and affection by “doing” or “achieving.”