It’s Harder to Parent These Kids

Parenting skills that are perfectly adequate for other kids just don’t work for kids with NPDs.


  • For some children any attempt to discipline results in a rage.
  • Auditory processing problems can make it difficult for children to understand what is being said to them. They often appear to be “not listening” or may need things explained or repeated several times in order to understand.
  • When children have a literal understanding of language they do not understand the implied meanings of words and idioms used in everyday communication.
  • Low self esteem results in a discouraged child who is often angry, sad and irritable.
  • Poor reasoning ability hampers any attempt to try to discuss and find solutions to problems.
  • When children are episodic they tend to live in the moment and therefore do not connect what is happening now with something previously experienced. It seems as if they keep making the same mistakes and are unable to learn from them.
  • Because children may process information randomly or non-sequentially they are unable to anticipate the consequences their actions may have, so they act first without thinking.
  • If a child lacks insight they can never see the other person’s point of view. They are always right and everyone else is always wrong.
  • Children, who are rigid and inflexible in their thinking, are resistant to change. They cannot be persuaded to change their point of view. Once they get an idea in their head they stick with it.
  • Logic and reason cannot dissuade them.
  • Perfectionist tendencies can cause a child to be driven to be the best. Sometimes if they are unable to achieve this they will simply not try.
  • Silly and annoying behaviour is an attempt to cause a reaction. Parents will often say, “Yelling at him is the only thing that works!”
  • Keep in mind that one in five children with NBDs are also struggling with underlying learning disabilities which may account for some of the above challenges. Be sure that you are in close contact with your child’s school.

Reviewed by M. Kodsi, M.D., Child and Family Psychiatrist.

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