Parenting is hard work even in the best circumstances. Having to co-parent with a narcissist adds additional layers of complexity to this already challenging task. Our dedicated legal team can offer tips and tricks on co-parenting with a narcissist. The health and safety of your children are paramount, so consider the following insights when raising a child with a self-centered co-parent.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenge of co-parenting with a narcissist. However, the following tips could go a long way toward simplifying and minimizing obstacles associated with raising a child alongside someone with this personality disorder.
Protecting the health and safety of your kids is priority number one. This often means ensuring that disagreements with a co-parent don’t spill over and impact your children’s relationship with their other parent.
Counseling can be helpful for kids, especially in cases where their parents’ breakup was contentious. Helping your children understand what is happening can make the entire process easier for all involved parties.
The best way to avoid arguments and settle disputes with a narcissist is to put your co-parenting arrangement in writing. While having an agreement might not eliminate conflict entirely, it can create an enforceable list of ground rules that determine custody and visitation rights as well as pick-up and drop-off times. Committing this agreement to writing gives you legal options when your children’s narcissistic parent refuses to comply.
Always keep a careful record of your co-parent’s inappropriate behavior. Carefully note when they fail to show up for visitation or are late in returning your children. Document any offensive communication and keep copies if possible. Documentation can protect a parent’s rights.
It’s easy to underestimate how draining it can be to manage a relationship with a narcissistic co-parent. Never feel guilty for taking the time to prioritize self-care and recharge your energy. A parent who meets their own self-care needs is better equipped to meet their children’s needs. Caring for your mental wellbeing will also improve your ability to address the challenges of a narcissistic co-parent.
The way you communicate with a narcissist can drastically change a situation – for better or for worse. Using certain communication tools can limit misunderstandings and prevent them from distorting what is said.
First, it’s best to correspond with your ex via e-mail. All conversations should be committed to writing, and both sides should retain copies of what is said. Either party can use e-mails as evidence during a court hearing, thereby deterring a narcissistic co-parent from starting verbal conflict.
Relying on technology like online calendars or co-parenting apps can also be useful. By committing a schedule to writing in a way that’s accessible to both parties, the chances of a disagreement or misunderstanding are effectively diminished. A few co-parenting apps you can check out include Our Family Wizard, Co-Parently, or WeParent.
Sometimes, co-parenting with a narcissist can seem impossible. Fortunately, a dedicated family lawyer from our team is available to help. Whether you’re seeking a change in custody or need a point of contact with your co-parent, the right legal counsel can make a tremendous difference. Call our firm right away to learn more.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group