7 Tips for Parenting With A Narcissist – Part I

Parenting with a narcissist seems like an impossibility. Truthfully you’re not really going to be parenting with them, it’s more like you’re going to be parenting around them. There’s a difference between co-parenting, and parallel parenting. With someone who has strong narcissistic tendencies, it’s almost impossible to co-parent. We’ll talk about this more plus seven tips on how to parent with someone who’s narcissistic.

Why Is It So Hard Parenting With A Narcissist?

Part of what makes it so hard to parent with a narcissist is they tend to burn the emotional house d own as they walk out the door. If you reject them, you reject their worldview. If you reject their worldview they perceive you as a direct threat. It is possible to divorce a narcissist or someone with narcissistic tendencies and not have this be the result. It requires understanding their worldview and crafting your communications so that they fit with their worldview. This can be done in such a way that you and your children win as well. It isn’t easy!

Co-parenting vs. Parallel Parenting

Co-parenting is a process where both parents share the same values, principles, and ideas about what’s best for the children. They have agreements about what time the children go to bed, what they’re going to eat, what kind of kids are going to play with, when they’re going to do homework, etc.

Parallel parenting is where each parent has differences in some or all of these areas. In a parallel parenting situation, the child is faced with different ground rules and different routines in each household.

Naturally, this can be confusing for the child or advantageous depending on their point of view. The ideal is to co-parent. When parenting with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, there’s going to be little room for agreement. Particularly if they leave angry and feeling threatened.

Some of The Dangers

Children want and need consistency in their lives. When parents are parallel parenting, at the very least children will experience discord and disharmony. Having inconsistency in households can lead to emotional instability on the part of the children. In plain English, they don’t feel safe.

This sense of lack of safety can be compounded when each parent has a very distinct worldview. In the case of a parent with narcissistic tendencies, they will very much want the children to buy into their worldview. In fact, someone with a narcissistic tendency is going to feel threatened when any worldview other than theirs is presented. They are highly likely to emotionally bully and/or gaslight the children.

Criticizing the narcissistic parent to the children will increase the lack of safety for them. Finger-pointing never works, even when you’re right. The trick is to create a safe environment in your home so that the children can see the difference between the two ways of living. You want the children to have a safe haven where they can be themselves.

Next Article: 7 Tips for Parenting With A Narcissist – Part II

Read more about Winning a Custody Battle Against a Narcissist

 

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