Can a narcissist be a good parent?

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Your son is likely to encounter narcissists in his future. In a way, he will be better prepared to cope with them, more alert to their existence and chicanery and more desensitized to their abuse.
For this you should be grateful.
There is nothing much you can do, otherwise. Stop wasting your money, time, energy and emotional resources on this intractable "problem" of how to insulate your son from his father's influence. It is a lost war, though a just cause. Instead, make yourself available to your son.
The only thing you can do to prevent your son from emulating his father - is to present to him another role model of a NON-narcissist - YOU. Hopefully, when he grows up, he will prefer your model to his father's. But there is only that much you can do. You cannot control the developmental path of your son. Exerting unlimited control over your son is what narcissism is all about - and is exactly what you should avoid at all costs, however worried you might be.
Narcissism does tend to breed Narcissism - but not inevitably. Not all the off-spring of a narcissist inexorably become narcissists.
The Narcissistic parent regards his or her child as a multi-faceted source of Narcissistic supply. The child is considered and treated as an extension of the Narcissist's personality. It is through the child that the Narcissist seeks to settle "open accounts" with the world. The child is supposed to materialize the unfulfilled Narcissistic dreams and fantasies of the Narcissistic parent. This "Life by Proxy" can develop in two possible ways: the Narcissist can either merge with his child or be ambivalent towards him. The ambivalence is the result of a conflict between the attainment of Narcissistic goals and pathological (destructive) envy.
To ameliorate the unease bred by emotional ambivalence, the Narcissist resorts to a myriad of control mechanisms. The latter can be grouped into: guilt-driven ("I sacrificed my life for you ..."), dependence-driven ("I need you, I cannot cope without you ..."), goal-driven ("We have a common goal which we must achieve") and explicit ("If you do not adhere to my principles, beliefs, ideology, religion or any other set of values � sanctions will be imposed").
The exercise of control helps to sustain the illusion that the child is a part of the Narcissist. Such sustenance calls for extraordinary levels of control (on the part of the parent) and obedience (on the part of the child). The relationship is typically symbiotic and emotionally vicissitudinal and turbulent.
The child fulfils another important Narcissistic function � that of Narcissistic supply. There is no denying the implied (though imaginary) immortality in having a child. The early (natural) dependence of the child serves to assuage the fear of abandonment, which is THE driving force in the Narcissist's life. The Narcissist tries to perpetuate this dependence, using the aforementioned control mechanisms. The child is the penultimate Secondary Narcissistic Source of Supply. He is present, he admires, he accumulates and remembers, owing to his wish to be loved he can be extorted into forever giving. For the Narcissist, a child is a dream come true, but only in the most egotistical sense. When the child is perceived as "reneging" on his chief duty (to provide his Narcissistic parent with constant supply of adoration) � the emotional reaction is harsh and revealing.
It is when the Narcissistic parent is disenchanted with his child that we see the true nature of this pathological relationship. The child is totally objectified. The Narcissist reacts to a breach in the unwritten contract with wells of aggression and aggressive transformations: contempt, rage, emotional and psychological abuse, and even physical violence. He tries to annihilate the real child (brought to the Narcissist's awareness through the child's refusal to act as before) and substitute it with the subservient, edifying, former version.
The Narcissistic parent tends to produce another Narcissist in his child. But this outcome can be effectively countered by loving, empathic, predictable, just, and positive upbringing which encourages a sense of autonomy and responsibility. Provide your child with an alternative to his father's venomous and exploitative existence. Trust your son to choose life over death, love over narcissism, human relations over narcissistic supply.
I don't think so. Narcissists objectify people in general, and children the more so because they are so much more a "product" of the Narcissist and, as such, a reflection upon him. My husband believed that he loved our children, when it was creepily obvious to everyone else -- including them -- that he was "proud" of them for their charm and attractiveness as a house-proud owner is proud of his house, and that was about it. He told me that our children were his "favorites" (as opposed to the ones that he had had with previous wives). He talked about them as if they were not in the room (in glowing terms, but no less weird, for all that), and when they were old enough to see the rust beneath his shine, he went swiftly from idolizing to ignoring and demeaning them. They were never close to him during the idolizing stage, but they were hurt and bewildered when the devaluation set in. I'd say the best you can hope for is that the children retain their value to him as supply sources until they are out of the house. With you there to be the sane head in the house, they may grow up the wiser for the experience, but you can expect to add the job of referee to that of mother. I wish you well.  
The only way in which a narcissist can be a good parent is by setting an example of how NOT to treat one's children. The benefit of this however, is infinitesimal in comparison to the psychological damage that a narcissist does to his children. His children will grow up with a deep-seated distrust of everyone they meet. They will feel like nothing they ever do is good enough. But what they are also apt to grow up with is a dislike, even hatred, for their narcissistic parent, exactly the opposite of what the parent was trying to achieve. Narcissism is a part of the person's persona. Changing it can be more difficult than changing behavioral patterns because narcissism runs on emotions and controlling one's emotions is a difficult task at best. Not smoking a cigarette is something that can be controlled because the urge to do it precedes the actual act of smoking. Controlling emotions is infinitely more difficult because by the time one realizes that an emotion needs to be controlled, the emotion has already occured.  
They tend to compete with the other parent for the child's favor. While you punish, they are using it to say, "look mommy bad, daddy good. who do you like better?" They don't do what is right by their children, but do what it takes to win children's affection. This means spoiling, no rules, undermining the other parent. You must tell your narcissistic partner that they need to take charge and you need to work with them as a team. Tell them to help you make rules and both parents have to enforce them (no pitting good parent against bad parent or making other parent do all the work). Narcissist to have aggressive tendencies, so they have the strength to channel it correctly. They seem to misapply. Over punish when their own parents or neighbors are watching. But ignoring the children and letting them run amuck when nobody is watching. This really messes up kids. They need permanent boundaries. Narcissist can't supply this. Make rules with spouse in private and both agree to enfource no matter what. Don't let kids see you fighting or discussing their rules in front of them, or they will see crack of weakness to exploit.  A NARCISSIST CAN HAVE SOME GOOD TRAITS AS A PARENT My 81 yr old father is a prime example of a N, he did/does some some positive and "correct" parenting behaviours. He was always nuturing and caring if a family member was ill or injured, as a child or an adult. However, as he has stated himself to me it was his "duty" to undertake this nuturing/caring behaviour, rather than 'love' or empathy for his family members. Apart from that he's always been critical/judgemental/belittling to family members, especially me his son. =

I just discovered that my father is a narcissist and have to agree that a narcissist can have some good traits. He taught me how do technical things and work hard. I have to admit I learned how not to behave around people by watching him. My mother did a good job of confirming my abilities and accomplishments when they were not "useful" to his supply. A little bit of hope for the future kept me going until I got out of the house and then life went on fairly well. They do teach you to distrust everyone, they do teach you to lie in that naricissistic way of self promotion but I did unlearn these things with time. He is a loving father but I can't let him use that against me. He does take care of his family but will always try to gain control over people when he does. Learning to say "no" helps a lot. Having other male role models is also very important, whether they are a friend in college or a friends parent. It's hard to teach the child of a naricissist that "people really do care and want to help you if they can".
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