Co-parenting is a struggle for most parents. Co-parenting can feel like even more of a hurdle when you have a combative relationship with your ex. If your ex goes above and beyond to upset you or push your boundaries, you may be co-parenting with a narcissist.
Narcissists have little empathy or respect for others. They believe themselves to be more important and will take advantage of the people in their lives to take what they want. While you cannot change a narcissist, you can change how you approach co-parenting with one.
Maintain calm professionalism
Your ex may do things to try to anger you. If you lose your cool or erupt in anger, the narcissist can use it against you. The narcissist often wants the other person to become upset or angry. Try to stay as calm as possible when working with your ex. Treat him or her like you would a colleague. Keep your language clear and make sure that you have strong body language.
Protect children without negative talk
You may have to talk to your children about your ex’s behavior, but be careful not to paint him or her in a negative light. Keep all your conversations age-appropriate and let them know that while their other parent may engage in poor behavior, it has nothing to do with them. You never want to make your children feel like they need to take sides.
When working with a narcissist, uphold your boundaries and do not bend on them. Make sure your parenting plan covers all aspects of co-parenting to avoid arguments.