Co-parenting with a narcissist isn’t easy. Each and every time you and your narcissist butt heads, it is going to affect the child (or children) involved.
While you might not have known your partner (or ex-partner) was a narcissist when you got into a relationship or ended up having a baby together as time passed that mask came off, and you began to see their true colors. This leaving you to in most cases separate, but because a child or perhaps more than one child was and is involved you are unable to cut ties completely. I know it’s hard, and you should probably go ahead and accept that it will continue to be hard before really moving through the rest of this article.
Now, if your narcissistic ex is doing serious damage to your child or crossing lines on an extreme level, please do not hesitate to fight for custody if it is needed. However, don’t just cut this person out of your child’s life entirely only based on how that person treated you. Completely removing that person from your child’s life without warrant isn’t going to do more damage than you might realize even if the person is a narcissist.
When it comes to ‘co-parenting’ with a narcissist, your best best is to make sure you have proper boundaries and are there for your child to make up for the areas in which the narcissist is lacking. For instance, the narcissist isn’t going to support the child emotionally as he or she should so that area you will have to make up for. Making sure boundaries are present with the narcissist and yourself will help your child (or children) to be more secure overall. They will be able to even things out without having to go towards one extreme more-so than another.
From here you need to as a parent minimize your contact with the narcissist. Don’t let them keep pulling you back into their drama. Make things only about the child and don’t use the kid against one another, that will only cause more pain for the child and make things worse on everyone involved. Being civil even when the narcissistic person in the situation is throwing low blows might be frustrating but it is what you must do for your child. You need to be your child’s safe space, even if that is more complicated than it sounds.
While the narcissist will try to turn your child against you in some cases, the more that they grow, the clearer things will become in their eyes. It is also best to limit their contact with the narcissistic parent when they are with you and vice versa. For instance, don’t let them call unless it’s an emergency, or perhaps have one phone call each night before bed if things must be that way. If your child runs to the other every time something they don’t like happens it will cause conflict between you and the narcissist, bringing on more of a struggle than you should have to face.
For more tips on co-parenting with a narcissist, please check out the video below. The more you embrace your child as a person and let them flourish properly while in your care, the happier they will be overall. Don’t be the parent who is constantly talking down about the other, just offer your child support and do what you can to make things easier on him/her.
Expect the narcissistic parent to be nasty, but don’t react to it. Ignore that part of the narcissist and be empathetic towards your child without making him/her out to be a victim. Your child doesn’t need your pity, he or she just needs your support.