Are you co-parenting with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2023 | Divorce

Co-parenting can be difficult in the best circumstances, but it can be incredibly challenging when one of the parents has a narcissistic personality disorder. They are often manipulative, controlling, and lack empathy for others.

It makes co-parenting a challenge, but there are strategies to help cope.

What are the signs of a narcissist?

People with a narcissistic personality disorder often have an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration, a lack of empathy for others, and a preoccupation with fantasies of power, success and attractiveness.

If you think you may be co-parenting with a narcissist, there are some signs to look out for. They may struggle to stick to agreements, refuse to be flexible, put the kids in the middle of disagreements between the two of you, or parent with less structure, empathy, or respect than you would like. They may also ignore your boundaries or try to manipulate you into doing what they want.

However, co-parenting doesn’t have to be impossible. There are strategies you can use to make it work, such as:

  • Create a detailed parenting plan and follow it closely.
  • Establish clear boundaries and stick to them.
  • Document any interactions between both of you, as they also tend to gaslight you.
  • Don’t engage in power struggles.
  • They will try to provoke strong emotions in you, so remaining calm and composed is essential. Walk away if you need to regain your composure.

It’s also important to remember that your child’s needs should always come first. Your primary focus should always be on the well-being of your child. Make sure they feel loved and supported by both parents, even if your ex-partner is challenging to deal with.

Co-parenting with a narcissist can be incredibly difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. By following these tips and strategies, you can help ensure that your child’s needs are met while maintaining healthy boundaries between yourself and the other parent.