Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’re discussing the issues that parents often run up against when trying to co-parent with a narcissist after a divorce. As we mentioned in the previous article, you really can’t co-parent with a narcissist, the best you can do is parent your kids the best way you know how, and minimize the damage your ex can do while your kids are with you. The rest is out of your hands. But if you’re trying to be a good parent, while sharing children with a narcissist, here are the rest of the tips we’ve learned over the years from helping many people end emotionally abusive marriages to people with narcissism.
Don’t pity your children, treat them like normal kids
It can be easy, when you’re ex is a narcissist, to feel sorry for your children, but this actually makes it worse for them. Nothing creates victims faster than children who are raised to believe that they should to be pitied, and that there’s nothing they can do to take control of their own life circumstances. Instead, teach your kids to speak up, to respect themselves, and to approach adversity as something that will make them stronger, not something to be quietly suffered.
Don’t trash talk your ex in front of your kids
It’s so tempting, we know, especially when your ex is a horrible person. But if you talk trash about them in front of your kids, you’re just giving them ammo to use against you in future. You don’t know what your kids repeat back to your ex, and if they’re campaigning to make you look bad, this’ll just feed right into that plan. So rise above their manipulations and live your best life, without wallowing in self-pity, assigning blame, or slinging mud.
Model social intelligence for your children
Your kids will look to you for examples on how to cope with stressful situations. So make a point of setting the examples you want your kids to learn from when times are rough. Also, when the opportunity comes up, point out examples of other happy, functioning single parent homes. Show them that what you have can be successful, and that they can be well adjusted people despite the obstacles and challenges life has thrown at them.
Validate your children as individuals
Narcissistic parents tend to see their kids as extensions of themselves, or as tools to be used to achieve their own purposes. They struggle to see their children as unique, individuals who should be loved and respected for who and what they are. So work to validate your children as individuals – celebrate their successes, and cherish their quirks, because they need that to feel loved, and their other parent won’t provide it.
Adjust your expectations accordingly
You are never going to be able to reason with your ex. You’re never going to be able to have a normal co-parenting relationship with them. So the sooner you put those expectations aside and start moving towards healing, the better off you’ll be. Get yourself some therapy if it’ll help, or get your kids some therapy. Do whatever it takes to focus on making the best of your new life. But make sure you don’t ever expect your ex to move on in a healthy way, or celebrate your successes in life. Because they won’t. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting it.
Are you considering divorcing your narcissistic spouse?
If so, then you already know that you’re in for a serious battle, and the only way you’re going to come out on top is to make sure you have a highly skilled and experienced divorce lawyer. Preferably one who has handled many divorces where one of the spouses is a narcissist. So if this sounds like your situation, then call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and talk to one of our experienced family law attorneys. We’ve been doing this for decades and we’re very good at it. We can help you achieve success during this difficult time.