11 Indicators You are Co-Parenting with a Narcissist (Easy methods to cope with it)

Unattainable. Infuriating. Insensitive. 

These are only a few (acceptable) phrases mother and father sharing custody with a narcissist use. 

Ex-spouses of a narcissist thought the wedding was robust, solely to search out the separation or divorce was even worse. 

Whereas the newly single childless folks can run for the hills, mother and father are left to determine custody and co-parenting with one other grownup whose conduct is extra like a toddler in some ways. 

Take a deep breath, and let’s have a look at the clear indicators that you’re co-parenting with a narcissist and enable you do what’s greatest for you and the kids. 

Understanding a Narcissist

There is no such thing as a “I” within the phrase crew, however there are three within the phrase “narcissistic.”

Therein lies the basic problem of coping with a narcissistic co-parent. 

A narcissist has a jaded, elevated, untouchable sense of entitlement and shallowness.

They consider they’re above the principles.

Most significantly, they are going to do no matter it takes to make themselves look higher, even on the expense of the folks closest to them. 

Trash Discuss: They are going to converse poorly a few co-parent, even (and particularly), in entrance of the kids. This builds up their superior sense of self. 

Self-Centered: They’re solely involved with their very own needs and desires, they received’t be capable to prioritize issues like equity, steadiness, and equality.

No Boundaries: Whether or not you agree by handshake or by means of a court-issued plan, a self-absorbed co-parent will break by means of boundaries in each effort to maintain full management. 

Masters of Masks: There’s a great likelihood most individuals haven’t seen the monster behind the masks. That is due to the manipulative nature of a narcissist. They will feign feelings and allure others to make you look unhealthy (or loopy).

11 Indicators You Are Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

Being married to a narcissist isn’t the identical as parenting with a narcissist, particularly when there’s a basic perception that each one mother and father have unconditional love for his or her youngsters.

You may need missed a number of the warning indicators as their associate, however you’re extra protecting of the identical conduct towards your youngsters.

1. The Time Warp

Not solely do narcissists march to the beat of their very own demanding drum, however in addition they work on their very own time schedule. 

To indicate how a lot management they’ve, they are going to habitually choose the children up earlier or drop them off later than agreed.

When you make an enormous deal about it, they’ll use the normal gaslighting with statements like “Calm Down. The children wished to remain longer.”

They may disrespect your time with the kids by texting or calling them typically, particularly if you’re doing a household exercise. Few issues excite a narcissist, like ruining another person’s good time. 

2. The Investigator

Narcissists can flip into rogue CIA brokers making an attempt to probe the kids for details about you, your new associate, or your loved ones routine.

They may cyber-stalk you and the children to get extra info and depart passive-aggressive messages or DMs. 

One other undercover agent exercise is spying in your time with the children, like “taking place” to indicate up on the theme park the day of your journey or sitting throughout the road from the restaurant you’re at for a celebration.

Then they’ll attempt to choose a combat concerning the smallest issues, hoping you’ll get emotional or enraged. 

3. The Cool Dad or mum

Since narcissists have to be on a pedestal, even to their very own youngsters, they are going to let some issues slide at their home that you simply wouldn’t permit at yours.

From ice cream for breakfast to horror motion pictures the night time earlier than they return residence to you, they need to be the “seen” guardian. 

Your teenager probably received’t Instagram the gluten-free meal you produced from scratch, however they are going to put up the “simply wanting” journey to the BMW dealership with dad. 

Not solely does being a cool guardian make them appear and feel higher, it makes you appear to be Broom-Hilda. 

4. The Drama By no means Stops

A self-centered co-parent can begin a combat over absolutely anything. They’ll maximize a toddler’s sickness to assist them appear to be a greater guardian or twist the phrases of a kid to accuse you of neglect or abuse.

The try to get you riled up is just to showcase how a lot management they nonetheless have over you. 

The bonus is that while you get mad concerning the endless drama, the kids see YOU because the chilly and calculated one.

They surprise why you might be at all times beginning a combat with the opposite guardian, after which they provide extra sympathy to the drama inducer. 

5. The Gossip King/Queen

Even regular questions like, “How was your day,” and “Did you may have enjoyable along with your dad on the live performance?” is usually a ruse to collect extra info they will use towards you.

Heck, you may not even know concerning the gossip till it goes across the social circle at PTA. 

The egotistical will appear oddly involved with the burden you’ve gained and query different mother and father about how to ensure their children don’t fall into unhealthy diet habits.

They may even flip the studies of a date into you having wild intercourse whereas the kids have been two rooms down. 

6. The Impassive Void

This goes past one guardian being overly protecting. Since an individual with such a dysfunction can’t really feel feelings for anybody else, they’ve little curiosity within the college nurse calling to say a toddler is sick.

If the self-serving guardian has extra essential plans the night time of the kid’s college play, they’ll blow it off. 

This finally ends up placing you in a foul place to nurture the kid with out trash-talking the opposite guardian or enabling their poor conduct. It may well additionally re-traumatize you because you’ve been that sufferer of careless and hurtful acts. 

7. The Jekyll and Hyde

At a sure level, you grow to be used to the narcissist being one individual in personal and one other in public. The monster aspect may very well be offended, violent, obtuse, or detached.

But, on the parent-teacher convention, you see that doting guardian who talks about homework assist and personal tutor (that you simply by no means agreed on) and seem very invested within the baby’s life. 

As a associate, it took you some time to determine you have been actually concerned with a poisonous character – and also you have been a grown grownup! The kids have a tougher time processing what’s taking place when mommy or daddy at all times provides totally different vibes. 

8. The Youngsters Change

In an unlucky circle of life, these egocentric people turned how they’re due to wants that have been or weren’t met throughout childhood. They created a false bravado to guard themselves, both knowingly or subconsciously.

In addition they might have been created by overly doting and rewarding mother and father who believed their baby might do no improper. 

Now you may discover a toddler growing a way of recklessness and entitlement. You can see one other baby withdraw or grow to be a folks pleaser to keep away from the nervousness a narcissistic co-parenting association stirs. 

9. The Reigning Champion

Each co-parenting scenario has a time when two mother and father don’t agree. That’s regular. Heck, it’s regular for married {couples}.

The twist of the knife with a self-absorbed individual is that they’re by no means improper. this since you lived this. You simply didn’t assume they might do it to your youngsters. 

Take into account that info don’t matter to a narcissist. They are going to do or say something to show they’re proper, even when it’s just a little white lie or outright aggressive, submission-inducing conduct.

Woe is the kid who doesn’t take the narcissistic guardian’s aspect in a disagreement. 

10. The Neglecter 

The poisonous guardian will typically guarantee a toddler stays alive, will get fed, and takes a shower, however they don’t actually have issues concerning the baby being nurtured or blissful.

Each second of time with a narcissist is supposed to construct up their shallowness, and that may imply youngsters are met with whiplash-inducing feelings. 

Youngsters of narcissists can develop up having no concept what they actually need out of life, training, and even dinner. The guardian with this dysfunction controls all that and dismisses any enter that goes towards their wonderful grain.

This could result in psychological and bodily impacts on youngsters who internalize the confusion. 

11. The Situations of Love

Dad and mom with unconditional love make selections primarily based on what’s greatest for the kid. A self-centered co-parent will make selections primarily based on what is correct for them.

They are going to present or withhold love primarily based on how a lot a toddler falls in keeping with that call. 

If a narcissistic guardian needs their baby to play soccer, they are going to bathe the kid with reward for each level scored.

Ought to the kid resolve to strive basketball, the conniving co-parent might start to withhold affection and presents as a punishment for going off the deliberate path. 

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Easy methods to Co-Dad or mum with a Narcissist

We are able to’t provide you with eight magical methods to make narcissism disappear, and also you don’t need to deprive your youngsters of the opposite guardian of their lives.

Earlier than you tear your hair out, be aware of some greatest practices when coping with a poisonous individual throughout parallel parenting. 

1. Be Exact

It’s essential to reign this in from the very begin to attract the boundaries of co-parenting. Chorus from falling for the requests to deal with this outdoors of court docket.

Get all of the restrictions, timelines, boundaries, and targets in a written doc, ideally from a household court docket or by means of an lawyer.

Even when you realize this guardian will violate these boundaries, you’ll have authorized recourse and doubtlessly a custody change down the highway for those who doc each step of expectations and the dates and instances when the opposite guardian didn’t observe the plan. 

2. Be Succinct

One of many emblems of coping with a narcissist is to go as a lot “No Contact” as potential.

When you do have to talk to them or ship texts, use as few phrases as potential. Keep on with goal, fact-based info, and don’t be baited into an argument. 

When you get any harassing, threatening, or defamatory communication in writing, put it aside by means of screenshots or e mail folders to have a paper path. Know that they’re probably doing the identical factor. Select your (few) phrases correctly.

3. Be Calm

Narcissists get and hold management by understanding the way to push your buttons. You might be probably extra empathetic and emotional than the common individual, as empaths are habitually drawn to narcissists initially. 

Narcissists don’t need you to like or hate them; they only need to know they will upset you. That management makes you seem like a puppet of their charade of life. 

Word your physique language, tone, and facial expressions, and hold them as impartial as potential. 

4. Be the Greater Individual

You’ll be able to’t combat hearth with hearth as a result of a narcissist’s hearth is extra relentless and poisonous. In case your co-parent is badmouthing you to your youngsters, don’t return hearth.

When you have to present a solution, use fact-based compassion to elucidate why the data they got isn’t correct. 

Youngsters caught between battling mother and father could make them really feel like they’ve to decide on a aspect. You’ll be able to’t management your ex’s conduct, however you’ll be able to management your response. 

5. Be Loving with out Overcompensating

If you realize your baby’s wants are being uncared for on the narcissist’s residence, don’t overcompensate at your personal residence.

Overwhelming a toddler with love or presents will solely make them extra torn. You can not make up for the love or consideration one other guardian does or doesn’t give. 

You do need the kid to know that they’re in a loving, open, welcoming residence when they’re with you, it doesn’t matter what the surroundings is on the co-parent’s residence. 

6. Be Centered on You

Victims of narcissistic abuse acknowledge it a lot extra when it’s taking place to another person, and oldsters are particularly protecting of their youngsters being victimized.

Keep away from temptations to have a look at your former associate’s social media pages or quiz your youngsters about private gadgets. 

You already know your former associate is a self-centered individual. You don’t want any extra proof. The one factor you must give attention to is you and your youngsters. Deal with the ex just like the empty shell of a human she or he actually is. 

7. Be Parallel Dad and mom

Most separated mother and father discuss with any parenting as co-parenting, however parallel parenting with a narcissist is the most suitable choice. Parallel parenting means restricted contact with goal messages solely in writing.

Co-parents may plan joint birthday events for a kid. Parallel mother and father will agree in writing concerning the dates and instances of separate events.

Co-parents will share emotions, have a good time victories, and collaborate on accountability. Parallel mother and father can have no contact that entails any feelings or emotions. 

8. Be Conscious It Will get Worse Earlier than It Will get Higher

Narcissists aren’t going to vary. By this level, you realize all of the lies, techniques, and manipulation that individual will attempt to get their pole place again.

You’ll cope with this different individual’s horrible habits for the lie of your baby, leaving you with an ongoing try to be the no-contact, straight-to-the-point, unreactive guardian. 

You’ll probably need to contain counseling for your self, but additionally embrace your youngsters. Whereas they’re resilient, children want a secure area to talk to somebody that entails a impartial third occasion. 

How Do Narcissists Deal with Their Youngsters?

That is going to be heartbreaking for a loving guardian to listen to. Narcissists deal with each human, even their offspring, as psychological warfare instruments. Since such a dysfunction lacks human empathy, they can’t categorical it to anybody. 

A narcissist treats a toddler as a trophy. Even actions and phrases that seem like love are actually primarily based on circumstances and transactions that proceed to foster the individual’s superior view.

A toddler who adores them will likely be showered with the notion of affection. A toddler who pushes again towards nonsensical conduct or bad-mouthing the opposite guardian will likely be met with melancholy or ire. 

The gut-wrenching half is that youngsters aren’t conscious that such a individual is parenting them. The children internalize each motion or lack of emotion and lose shallowness, independence, and hope.

They really feel like they’ve achieved one thing improper. The extra the kid falls right into a psychological well being spiral, the extra the narcissist will achieve management. The kid by no means will get to expertise life as a wholesome baby and doesn’t possess a way of self to thrive as an grownup. 

If for that reason solely, that’s why it’s crucial for the steady and competent guardian to stay to the very best practices and supply a secure, loving residence centered on shallowness and emotional stability. 

Remaining Ideas

Parallel parenting with a narcissist is actually the healthiest strategy to transfer ahead, however you’re confronted with an unimaginable process.

Enable your self grace and area to follow your calm, assured conduct as typically as obligatory. You’re the greatest hope the kid has to prosper into maturity.


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