How to deal with parallel parenting with a narcissist? Custodial parenting with a narcissist is challenging and exhausting. It can often be an uphill battle to make decisions that are in the best interest of both your children and yourself while avoiding any further trauma or strife for both parties. Because it takes two parents to raise a child, understanding parallel parenting – methodologies used to minimize contact with (but still communicate effectively) their narcissistic ex-partner – and how it can work even amidst high-conflict situations is essential for managing this dynamic situation responsibly.
Keep on reading for our solutions for how to parallel parenting with a narcissist.
What is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting is a cooperative approach to managing custody and visitation rights when parents are separated or divorced, but cannot effectively co-parent together due to high-conflict situations. This approach focuses on parallel lines of authority – meaning each parent has their own set of rules and expectations for the child while in their care – and consistent communication between both parties in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. It also includes parallel lines of communication for the two parents, including any necessary mediation or conflict resolution services.
How Does Parallel Parenting with a Narcissist Work?
Parallel parenting with a narcissist requires both parties to accept that communication between them will be limited and contingent upon their respective roles as custodians of their child. This means that parents must learn to communicate effectively and respectfully when discussing issues related to the child, such as visitation rights or medical decisions.
It also requires both parties to accept parallel lines of authority – each parent has a set of rules and expectations for the child while in their care, which must be respected by the other parent. Lastly, parallel parenting with a narcissist often requires the assistance of outside mediators or counselors to help manage any potential conflicts that may arise.
How to Deal With Parallel Parenting with A Narcissist
1- Planning is key
Establish a plan that outlines how both parties should communicate and handle decision-making related to the child. This includes setting up boundaries for communication between parents, determining who makes decisions in what areas, and agreeing on guidelines for resolving conflicts.
2- Respect parallel lines of authority and boundaries
Both parents must respect each other’s parallel lines of authority and be willing to compromise on certain issues.
Establishing healthy boundaries is beneficial for even cordial relationships, but it is absolutely essential for successful parallel parenting techniques. Do not attempt to cross the lines of your agreement in order to check on your child or observe how your former partner interacts with them.
Establishing limits is essential for both parents if they want to help their child’s wellbeing. As difficult as it might be, parallel parenting implies that you and your ex must agree not to tell each other how to raise the kid. Boundaries will only be successful when every person involved follows them conscientiously.
3-Maintain communication to a minimum
Communication between both parents should be limited to only necessary issues and conversations pertaining to the child.
4-Have a mediator/counselor
It is important to have a neutral third party present in order to help mediate any disputes or disagreements that may arise.
5-Steel your heart and mind against personal attacks
It is important to remember that parallel parenting with a narcissist can be draining and difficult. You must remain objective, professional, and focused on the well-being of your child in order to remain successful in parallel parenting.
Parallel parenting with an ex who has NPD is a difficult task, yet it can be achieved if the proper steps are taken. To maintain rules and boundaries, there are three paramount tasks: document everything! Each interaction – regardless of how insignificant it may seem – must be noted down and stored in a safe place.
Adding timestamps to each entry further prevents any potential “he said/she said” disputes going forward. By taking these measures into account, co-parenting irrespective of having to deal with NPD becomes much more manageable over time.
7-Remember every single details
Never leave anything to chance when dealing with someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder. It’s essential to be thorough and meticulous while establishing a parallel-parenting arrangement, as they are skilled at exploiting the weaknesses of other people.
Ensure that every detail surrounding your child’s exchange from you to the other parent is specified in the agreement and make sure those limits are adhered to strictly.
To ensure that your children’s best interests are taken into account, it is important to consider every likely eventuality and its potential remedies. Thus, generate a list of the most dire circumstances imaginable and what can be done when they arise.
Narcissists may prioritize themselves over their offspring; for this reason, all provisions in the agreement must remain concrete as well as punishments for those who violate them.
What’s the Difference: Parallel Parenting vs. Co-Parenting
To comprehend the nuances of parallel parenting with a narcissist, it is paramount to recognize what sets this practice apart from conventional co-parenting plans.
In a co-parenting dynamic, both parents come together to create an arrangement that is best for the children and their needs. With this in mind, having consistent expectations across both households will help ensure your children’s lives are structured and give them less opportunity to experience favoritism or alienation. Co-parenting is usually the most beneficial approach for kids as it reduces disruption overall.
Although co-parenting with a narcissist may seem hopeless, it is still achievable. The only way to make successful joint parenting work is by allowing both parents to communicate openly and respectfully. Unfortunately, this isn’t commonly the case when one of them has an intense personality disorder such as narcissism; something you are well aware of from first-hand experience.
Despite the challenges posed by a narcissistic or disordered personality, it is absolutely possible to effectively parallel parents. This method of parenting involves both parents establishing their own rules and boundaries without interference from one another while keeping communication between them at an absolute minimum. Parallel parenting provides children with a solid structure and allows families to be successful in spite of any difficulties they may face.
If you are parenting alongside a narcissist, it is imperative to be ever-vigilant and mindful of the situation; as they have an aptitude for manipulation that can easily disrupt your life.
Why does co-parenting with a narcissist not work?
Narcissists frequently have a perilous self-image and are rigid, protective, and manage situations with irresponsible practices. If your parenting partner is a narcissist, they may disregard your boundaries or put you to the test. Additionally, their approach to parenting could be lacking structure, understanding, or respect compared what you expect from them.
What type of upbringing results in a narcissistic child?
According to Cramer (2011), children brought up by parents that displayed a combination of high responsiveness and permissiveness were more likely to develop narcissistic traits such as grandiosity and superiority, whereas those raised under authoritative parenting with low responsiveness rarely showed these tendencies.
What is the response of a narcissistic parent when they cannot manipulate their child?
When a narcissist begins to feel as if they are losing control, it can spark intense feelings of anger. This may manifest in different ways, such as lashing out at you, running smear campaigns against you or simply ignoring your presence.
On the other hand, sometimes this person will love bomb you with compliments and attention in order to regain power over the situation by getting a response from you. Ultimately their goal is regaining control through manipulating those around them.
At what age does narcissism develop?
Characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder are more prevalent in males than females, and usually appear during the teenage years or early adulthood. On occasion, children may exhibit signs of narcissism; however this conduct is generally age-appropriate and doesn’t necessarily mean they will grow to suffer from NPD.
Parallel parenting with a narcissistic ex-partner can be an emotionally draining and difficult experience. Establishing clear boundaries, understanding parallel parenting strategies, and taking steps to protect yourself (and your children) from further trauma is essential for managing the situation responsibly. It is important to remember that parallel parenting isn’t always easy or natural, but with patience and understanding it can be done successfully.
The most important factor when it comes to parallel parenting with a narcissist is to ensure that your children’s needs are met, not just yours or the other parent’s. With consistency, love, and hard work parallel parenting with a narcissist can still yield positive results.