How can I co-parent with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2022 | Child Support, Family Law

Although you can divorce a spouse who is a narcissist, your Texas children cannot. Your kids will want to spend time with their narcissistic parent, but at the same time, they may come home distressed over something that happened. Here are tips that you can use to help them cope when they’re solo with your former spouse.

Ease your children’s stress

Spending time with a narcissistic parent can be stressful, but unless your ex-spouse is doing something that will physically harm your children, family court judges typically allow them to have the right to spend time with their offspring. Yet, a narcissist can upset children, especially with things they say, but sometimes with action. Narcissists also tend to talk badly about the other parent, which can fully upset children. Instead of fighting back in a war of words, give your children a safe adult to talk to, such as a school counselor, a mental health professional, or a support group facilitated by an adult.

Permit your children to set personal boundaries with a narcissistic parent by allowing them phrases to say when they start feeling overwhelmed by actions or words. Another possibility is to suggest when they can call their safe adult for advice. When your children are home with you, make sure that you validate their feelings as they may not get such reinforcement when with the other parent.

Legal issues involving narcissists

Even though you may have reached an agreement with your ex-spouse over child support and visitation, narcissists sometimes suddenly want to change the agreement to suit their own needs. In these cases, you may have another legal battle on your hands and may have to head back to court.

Divorced couples should draft agreements that have their children’s best interest at heart, but that isn’t necessarily the case where narcissists are concerned, as they often have difficulty seeing what is best for their children. Stand your ground when dealing with a change in agreements, and if needed, work with a mediator who may be able to get through to your ex-spouse.