It is sad to write this story about Lydia (friend of mine) who I believe to be an NM. Her daughter (Allie) is 5 and son (Tom) is 7. I recently had my eyes peeled open that Don and Lydia are a narcissistic couple. Rather than Don being the Enabling Father (EF) the couple feeds on each of their narcissistic behaviors – an NC. So sick to watch. ***A special thank you to Upsi for the acronyms…a great writer and support…check out her blog.
On my last (I hope the last ever) visit to their home recently Lydia and Don told us about how the daughter’s teacher contacted them to have a discussion about Allie. The teacher told Don and Lydia that Allie has been telling the other students about ‘things’ she has at home. The teacher used specific examples of Allie’s behaviors: Allie will tell other students that she has an iPhone at home or her brother, Tom, has the new Star Wars Lego set, etc. The teacher said that she brought it to their attention because Allie does it frequently and the teacher’s opinion is that Allie is doing this to make friends and for people to like her.
Upon the relay of the teacher’s remarks, Lydia and Don expressed to us about their response to the teacher: ‘We gave the teacher full rein to deal with her behaviors and to call her out on it. She can punish her for any of these behaviors as she thinks fit.’
Punish. I couldn’t get over this word. Lydia, are you going to talk with Allie?, I say. No, the teacher will deal with the behavior when it comes up. It always amazes me how little parenting narcissistic parents actually do.
Allie is 5 and the teacher believes this behavior to be unhealthy…so she approaches the parents. Having heard this, the NC is glad the teacher will be handling this situation.
One can only imagine what is going through Allie’s mind at the age of 5. Maybe Allie would say this if someone she trusted and loved her would talk to her about it instead of punishing her:
I’m in trouble. I told my friend that I have a new toy. I can’t play during recess. Why can’t I play? Mommy, I hear you talk to T Reddy and your other friends. You show them your new watch, camera, pen. You run upstairs to bring down the new clothes you bought. Everytime you see T Reddy you tell her all the new things you and Daddy have. Why can’t I tell my friends about all the stuff I have? Why can you play with your friends and I can’t?
I can’t play again. The teacher told me I shouldn’t talk about the stuff we have at home. I want to play with my friends. I guess maybe it’s better not to tell them anything.
The teacher now has to discipline Allie and is not the child’s parent. The discussion may not get to the heart of the issue. And in the end the consequence is that Allie may learn that sharing (about her life) is not a good behavior. Sharing with friends is important, showing off the things you have is not friendship nor does it lead to healthy friendship.
Punishing Allie for this is so wrong when the child herself cannot even comprehend fully what she is doing and why. After all, that tired phrase, children lead by example.
It is amazing how at 5 years old Allie can pick up on her parent’s behaviors towards their friends. Allie is learning that this is how you should communicate with friends. At already a young age the N makes it’s psychological scar.
Upon further reflection I had to give a big kudos to this teacher. A teacher that can recognize unhealthy behaviors and know that it is important enough to bring to the attention of the parents. To all those teachers out there making that ever important difference in the lives of children and students everyday…Thank you. Thank you.