5 Tips for Co-Parenting With a Narcissist
The word “narcissist” gets a lot of use these days. It seems everyone with an irrational ex is divorced from a narcissist. That’s doubtful! So, why did I title this guide, “Co-Parenting with a Narcissist?
Because, whether your ex is a narcissist or nothing more than a common, garden variety jerk if he is giving you a hard time co-parenting and causing your children emotional harm, this video is for you.
Co-Parenting With a Narcissist Tips:
1. Don’t Allow Him to push your buttons
That is his number one goal! Don't allow him to succeed. He wants to cause you to respond to him with anger. He wants you to appear as angry and irrational as he is. If you do, you give him ammunition to use against you in court, with his family and his friends.
He was married to you long enough to know your vulnerabilities and which buttons to push. He is adept at getting you worked up and he knows it. If you allow yourself to overreact to his nonsense you're giving him exactly what he wants and the last thing you want is to give him any satisfaction.
Keep that in mind when you're trying to cool yourself down and ignore him.
2. Use Reverse Pronouns
Narcissists project, nearly every statement they make is a projection of something they fear. Example: If he says, “You’re a terrible mother who is going to ruin her children’s lives.” What he really means is, “I’m a terrible parent who is going to ruin his children’s lives.
If you reverse those pronouns and understand the degree of his projection it will free you up from feeling like you need to defend yourself or concern yourself with what he thinks.
3. Lower your Expectations of Him
He is never going to be a good co-parent, stop hoping he will. What you have now, is what you're stuck with. There is nothing you can do that will cause him to magically one day become the perfect co-parent so don't waste your time and energy on hoping he will change.
4. Set Communication Boundaries
Communicate via email only. If you're able to use a communication software like Our Family Wizard to keep track of and document all email communications with him.
No texting, phone calls or in-person communication about child-related issues. If all child-related issues are discussed via email and a legal issue comes up, you have documented proof to use in court.
5. Grey Rock Him
What does this mean? NO personal interaction, NONE. If you’re around him, do not acknowledge him. Do not attend school functions together. If you both happen to be in the same place at the same time, ignore him.
Have minimal communication and only via email. Respond to his emails with 2 or 3 words. If he emails and says, “I’m sick and can’t take the children this weekend.” Respond back and simply say, “Understand.”
He no longer exists to you other than some being in the clouds that you converse with as little as possible.
Last but Not Least
Be a good Mom to both your children and him! He is, after all, nothing more than an emotionally stunted child.