Parenting With a Narcissist: The Survival Guide

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Parenting with another partner is one of the most challenging parts of being in a relationship. If you’re both not on the same page, raising a little one who likes to test their boundaries can be the cause of a lot of arguments.

This becomes even more apparent when one of the parents is a narcissist. By definition, narcissists are extremely self-involved, and when a child takes the attention away from them, they lash out. Although they’re adults, they still ignore everyone else’s needs in favor of their own.

If you are co-parenting with a true narcissist, it’s going to take some time for you to get used to accepting that they are the way they are, and don’t understand why it’s “wrong.” Whether you stay in the relationship or get divorced, it’s vital that you know what a narcissist is like, and this survival guide will help you and your child juggle the other parent.

Your Handy Dandy Survival Guide to Narcissistic Co-Parenting

First, let’s be upfront on one thing: If the other person has been diagnosed with narcissistic disorder, they’re on a spectrum. They could have traits of narcissism, or be a full-fledged narcissist. What you can expect depends on where they sit on that spectrum, and if they’re receiving help for their problem.

We’ll take this guide to the extreme and discuss the ins and outs of a full narcissist. Many relationships don’t last when narcissism is involved. However, the problem is that a narcissist seems charming and perfect at first. It’s hard, but don’t feel bad if you fell victim of their charms. You are surely not the only one! But you do have a child with them, and so you must learn how to handle their parenting.

  • Make your parenting plans formal. If possible, always have something in writing, even if it’s a text, that shows anything that involves the other person and your child. Whatever city or province you’re in, your legal representative should have a court schedule that you can default to if there’s any disagreement. The jurisdiction falls to wherever the document is filed. 

For instance, family lawyers in Melbourne may have a different visitation schedule than that of wherever a parent moves to. Stick with the court-ordered schedule. Narcissists often try to cajole or find ways to sneak around the schedule, so you must be black and white, even if it means you miss an important milestone or an event that occurs during their schedule. 

  • Have an unbiased third-party present at all contact. With a narcissist, you never know which kind of attitude you’re going to get. Talk to your lawyer about setting up a visitation pick-up and drop-off at a neutral setting, such as a police station, and ensure there is a neutral party present any time you make contact with each other.
  • Set boundaries, and teach your children how to use them, too. Your child is never too young to watch what you’re doing and saying. When it comes to their parent, they’re going to see how you act around them, what you say about them, and how you give in or don’t give in to their narcissistic tendencies. 

Learn how to set boundaries as soon as possible, and work with an expert, such as a child counselor, to help your child learn how to set them, as well. You only have the other parent until your child is 18. They have them the rest of their lives.

With these three integral steps in place, you’ll find that co-parenting with your narcissistic ex, or soon-to-be ex, is much easier in the future. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Hayden Hank
8 months ago

Found your post interesting to read.