Now that you've got a better understanding of narcissism and have done the job healing your own wounds, there are a few things to consider in order to break the cycle and avoid the legacy of narcissism mentioned by Behary. That means doing everything in your power to prevent your children from having the same experiences and growing up into narcissists themselves.
According to psychoanalyst Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., one of the most important factors is allowing your child some separation from you.
"In the first three years of life there is a phase of child development called separation-individuation," writes Hollman in her book Are You Living With a Narcissist? "This is when the child must work out their need to feel close to an admiring mother while developing a healthy separation in which they can tolerate that they are not all powerful and grandiose." In other words, allow your child to develop their own identity outside of you and feel safe doing so.
At the same time, it's important for parents to set boundaries – especially if they're concerned about raising a future narcissist. Some parents have difficulty with discipline, especially those who people like because they grew up with narcissistic parents. But children need healthy restrictions.
"The child [his mother] must set boundaries so that he or she knows how to interact in an acceptable manner with others," writes Hollman. "If he's too powerful, he expects to be entitled to more than a child should be."