How can I co-parent with a narcissist?

Co-parenting is rarely easy. You and your ex will probably have different ideas about child-rearing, which can lead to numerous disputes. However, when your ex-spouse displays narcissistic tendencies, co-parenting together might seem downright impossible.

In this case, you must take the right steps to ensure your children have happy and healthy lives. Healthline offers these tips on dealing with a narcissistic parent, so you can keep the peace and your sanity.

Establish a formal co-parenting plan in court

When your co-parenting plan is in writing and legally binding, your ex will have less leeway. For example, if your ex is frequently late when picking up your kids, or prevents you from enjoying your agreed upon parenting time, the issue can be brought up in court. Disregarding a formal order is considered contempt, and it can be punishable by in a number of ways, including jail time for serious transgressions.

Be firm with boundaries

In many parenting situations, some flexibility is best. When dealing with a narcissist, being consistently firm is preferred. Even giving in a little can come back to haunt you later, as your ex is likely to take advantage of the situation as much as possible. Maintaining boundaries is sure to be difficult at first, but at some point your ex will have no other option than to just fall in line.

Remember your child’s feelings

No matter how frustrated you get, or how angry you are at your ex, do not speak negatively of them in front of your child. Doing so will cause more harm than good, as your child is bound to have a vastly different relationship with your former spouse. Additionally, do not let yourself get pulled into meaningless arguments with your ex. Subjects should revolve around your child or children and what is best for them.