Divorce is always difficult for everyone, particularly the children. But when one of the parents is a narcissist, successfully co-parenting the children becomes a bigger challenge, as some parents in Texas discover. However, you can co-parent with a narcissist and help your children cope with narcissistic behavior.
Focus on the children’s best interests as you co-parent
The narcissistic co-parent might use a variety of tactics to try to derail the co-parenting arrangement. However, just as child custody issues are resolved with the best interests of the child in mind, successful co-parenting means you should keep your focus on this as well. Some of the things you can focus on include:
• The bond with your child
• The child’s emotional well-being
• Validation of your child’s feelings
• Creating a supportive environment for the child
Create a support system for the children
When children have to deal with a narcissistic parent, they need to have a strong support system made up of supportive adults such as a guidance counselor, a religious leader or a therapist. Children need to know they can talk to an adult who will listen to them without taking sides. They also need to learn how to talk to their narcissistic parent when that parent is behaving in a way that is detrimental to the child.
Validate your child’s feelings
It is very important to allow your children to share their feelings about the situation when they are with you and to show them validation of these feelings. The child might not have that option when they are with the narcissistic parent. When they are with you, you should show them unconditional love and support, so they know they have a safe emotional space when they are with you.
While co-parenting with a narcissist is difficult, it is possible. Remember to put the children’s well-being first and to protect and support them.