There is a phenomenon that occurs in the Narcissistic household. And that is where the Scapegoated Child (the one singled out for blame and negative treatment) later becomes the new Golden Child (the Narcissist’s pride and joy). This can happen for a variety of reasons but it usually happens once the children are all grown up. Because if that Golden Child manages to become independent of that Narcissistic Parent, they tend to pull away from them completely and the Scapegoat child is usually willing and open to take their place.
Why would something like this happen?
Well, let’s first look at what life is like for the Golden Child and the Scapegoat while in the care of their Narcissistic Parent. In many cases the Golden Child is or becomes a co-dependent. One that comes to live to please the Narcissistic Parent but also becomes totally dependent on them, emotionally and otherwise. They tend to get a lot of attention and validation from the Narcissistic Parent, whereas the Scapegoat is usually neglected and unfairly treated. They are also usually the target of the Narcissistic parent rages and maybe even physical and verbal abuse.
The divide between these two children is vast and constantly encouraged because it allows the Narcissistic Parent to get both negative and positive supply. Narcissistic Supply for the Narcissist comes in two forms; The Positive Supply, which would be the adoration, love and attention they get from the Golden Child. And then there is the Negative Supply, which would be as a result of the hurt and pain they inflict upon the Scapegoat. So, having these conflicting relationships within their household is exactly what a Narcissist wants. To understand more about Narcissistic Supply please see the video below:
The Scapegoated Child is starved of attention, love and overall validation. And many keep seeking it even long after they have grown and started their own families. They still desire the approval and love of their Narcissistic Parent. So, when the Golden Child ends up abandoning this Narcissistic Parent or fails miserably and are no longer the Narcissistic Parent’s pride and joy, the Narcissistic Parent turns to the Scapegoat. And because the Scapegoat is so hungry for the validation and love of the Narcissistic Parent, they are ready and willing to accept the change and would even side with them against the ex-Golden Child. Because unless the Scapegoat is aware that their parent is a Narcissist who is just manipulating and using them; the chances of them being the new Golden Child is very high.
Narcissistic Parents create very toxic household where the children feel as if they have to compete for the love and attention of the Narcissistic Parent. Sibling rivalry is rife and the relationship between the children themselves suffers miserably and can last a life-time. But the Narcissist does not care about that. All the Narcissist cares about is what they can get from these children and how best they can be used to serve the interest and desires of the Narcissist.
But to conclude, the roles of who plays the Golden Child and the Scapegoated Child can change. But in either circumstance the Narcissist never really loves or appreciate any of them, as Narcissists know only how to use and abuse.