Everyone is self-cautious and cares to a certain degree what other people think about them, that’s human nature. But the narcissistic parent acts differently at home than they’re out in public. The narcissistic parent takes pride in flaunting their social status, physical appearance, material possessions, and accomplishments. But when they no longer have an audience, they stop with the nice act. They either criticize or talk about others behind their back. Parents who are emotionally healthy love their children no matter what. When their children do something wrong they’ll punish them but it’s still obvious to the children that they are loved. Narcissists don’t display love for their children. They don’t have the ability to love their children, so they will only give out conditional love, like when you are succeeding in something or when they can brag about you to their friends.
The louder kids get more attention while the quiet, well-behaved ones are overlooked because they don’t require as much monitoring. After working and cooking and cleaning all day, every day for years on end, people get a little tired. They are stressed out and cranky and, more often than not, the parents will take this out on their children. This is usually unintentional, but people are a lot less patient when they are overworked and their tempers are a lot shorter. Children, obviously, require a lot of patience, so this is not a good combination. Less-than-stellar parents may even come to resent their children for making them have to work so hard, which is even worse for the children to have to deal with. In very large families, it is common for the older kids to take care of the younger ones. I know a lot of people who actually list this as a benefit of having a large family. They think it is good because it teaches responsibility at a young age.