Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed
A Guide to Coping with Difficult, Narcissistic Parents and Grandparents
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
Growing up with a parent who is self-absorbed is difficult, and they may become more difficult to deal with as they age. This essential book shows how to cope with your aging parent's narcissistic behavior, and provides tips to help protect yourself and your children from their self-absorbed, destructive actions.
As your self-absorbed parent grows older and becomes more dependent on you, hurtful relationships may resurface and become further strained. In the tradition of Children of the Self-Absorbed, author Nina Brown offers the first book for adult children of aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parents. You will learn practical, powerful strategies for navigating the intense negative feelings that your parents can incite, as well as tips to protect your children from the criticism, blame, or hostility that may exist between you and their grandparent.
In this book, you will gain greater awareness of how and why your parent's self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes get worse, and develop strategies to manage the negative feelings that can arise as a result. You'll also learn to reduce the shame and guilt that may be felt when you feel like you don't want to be a caretaker. Finally, you'll learn to set limits with your parent so you can stay sane during this difficult time.
Having an aging parent can be stressful enough, but dealing with an aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parent is especially challenging. This essential guide will help you through.
“Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed fills an important niche in the self-help literature: dealing with aging, difficult, narcissistic parents and grandparents. The book is a guide for adult children of such parents, and offers much wisdom. Brown delineates four types of self-absorbed parents—Clingy, Suspicious-Defensive, Arrogant, and Belligerent—and provides excellent strategies for managing interactions with each type of parent. The book has useful exercises designed to help readers manage their side of these very difficult relationships more effectively. The overriding message is that the adult child must—and can—let go of hoping to change the parent and instead develop self-protective coping behaviors. This book is a good resource for anyone dealing with an aging self-absorbed parent or grandparent, as well as for therapists helping their clients in such situations.”
—Eleanor F. Counselman, EdD, ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA, president-elect of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
“Nina Brown lights the way, helping you navigate the roller coaster of caring for narcissistic, aging parents and grandparents. This groundbreaking book introduces valuable exercises and practical advice to strengthen your resilience and protect you from taking in the negativity of your self-absorbed parents.”
—Ann Steiner, PhD, MFT, CGP, FAGPA, faculty of The Psychotherapy Institute, board member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and author of How to Create and Sustain Groups that Thrive
“This new text by Nina Brown makes clear the impact of self-absorbed parents and offers some useful techniques about what to do about them. … Written in an easily accessible and commonsense tone, [Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed has] something to offer for those with relatively little background in psychology and human development theory, as well as those with considerable experience. … Brown takes the reader through the basics of coping with a problem that is faced by a good deal of the early, middle, and later adult population. … This text is a useful and practical review of the issues involved with parent-child dynamics in the adulthood years and provides some solid structure for describing, categorizing, and responding to these issues in an effective manner.”
—Joshua M. Gross, PhD, ABPP, CGP, psychologist and director of group programs at The University Counseling Center at Florida State University, where he practices group and family psychology as well as trains and supervises doctoral and post-doctoral trainees
“Narcissism expert Brown (Children of the Self-Absorbed) delves into the challenges of interacting with family members whose difficult personalities are exacerbated by age. She outlines changes brought on by advanced age, from physical to existential, and lists the four most common types of self-absorbed parents: clingy, suspicious/defensive, arrogant, and belligerent. … A section on protecting the feelings of spouses and children while around the parent in question is particularly helpful, with strategies for anticipating conflict and intervening when necessary. Additional exercises will help readers release negative feelings, visualize a safe space to retreat to, and build up self-esteem with positive affirmations. … Brown’s tactics may help keep the peace.”