Excerpt from a thought-provoking post:
[The child of a narcissist] will grow up conditioned to think that the greatest sin is having anybody commit one against you…
When that child becomes an adult and goes out into the world, he will tolerate narcissists, because he has been conditioned to. The double-standard is so deeply ingrained that this child thinks, “Some people are just that way.” To be a good person, you must tolerate whatever treatment they feel like dishing out to you.
…you must seriously consider getting very young children away from a narcissistic spouse. And, if you can’t or decide not to for some reason, you must make sure not to fall into this trap.
The main thing is NOT to go into denial. Consider and be aware of the effect it tends to have on your children’s psyche. Counter that effect. Make sure the normal child never feels responsible for something no one can control = the narcissist’s wild behavior.
Children are amazingly resilient. If the normal parent relates appropriately to them and really makes the effort to compensate, it makes a huge difference. Kids catch on to things at a much earlier age than we realize.
They know Daddy isn’t satisfied with them. Make sure they learn that it’s due to Daddy’s defect, not theirs. Yes, that will sadden them and perhaps make them feel cheated. But it won’t damage them. Similarly, it’s sad to know that your Daddy doesn’t care about you. But it’s torture to be subjected to conditional love, tantalized forever with cruel hope that you can somehow MAKE him like you if you just keep trying hard enough.
This is only one of many interesting, informing articles on narcissism. Unfortunately, the blog is no longer active, as the author passed away. But it is a valuable resource and I highly recommend reading through the posts.