If getting away from a narcissist is extremely difficult, it is all the more so to be linked to him forever because we had a child with him.
If you have had a child with a narcissist, prepare to find yourself in what is called a ” high conflict parenting situation “. Guard stories are often hostile terrain. Getting angry is for the narcissist, a way to get your attention and keep hold of you.
Here are a few things I learned that work when raising a child with a narcissist.
1. Define communication limits.
Narcissists may only experience the pleasure of getting upset. Then they are able to control themselves and describe you as someone who is unstable. Above all, do not give them the weapons that could be used to shoot you. Communicate with your ex-husband (or wife) by email, rather than by phone. You will take advantage of more time to reflect in order to respond and will also have “physical evidence” if necessary.
When your “on call” comes, set a specific time and a limited talk time between the other parent and your child. Do not be surprised that a narcissist is forced to speak to his child several times during his stay with the other parent. Be especially careful if your child has a mobile phone.
When you talk to your ex-husband, stick to the facts. Try to leave feelings out of the discussion. Narcissists feed on these emotions . Do not feed them anymore.
2. Find a mediator through the courts.
A judge is empowered to appoint a mediator in highly conflictual situations. Schedules and communication are taken care of by this mediator. Mediators are graduates and trained people. Not only will they help you manage your stress better, it will also be a great way to soothe your child. Do not hesitate to speak to your lawyer.
3. Have your child’s litigation guardian appointed.
If you are in a custody conflict (which is more common when their ex-husband or wife is a narcissist), it is possible to have your child’s litigation guardian appointed. A guardian is only concerned with the interests of the child, while the legal battle is still going on.
This litigation guardian acts both as a lawyer and as a support system. It can be recommended by your lawyer and is appointed by the judge.
4. Refuse to make your child a pawn
Stay clean. Do not use your child to send messages to the other parent. Do not offload on your child, if you need to speak badly of your ex, talk to your friends or a psychologist.
If you discover that your ex-spouse is sending messages through your child (which is more likely to happen if you have set clear limits on your communications), do not use your child to carry out “reconnaissance” or “investigation” missions.
In other words, do not exploit your child to give you information about what is going on in the other person’s house. If your child needs to talk about it, a simple “how are you?” Will generally allow you to broach this subject.
5. Establish a detailed custody agreement
Go see a family law lawyer. Let him know that with your ex-husband (wife), the situation is highly conflictual. Have every detail written down – who pays for what percentage of medical costs, establish days on call as well as school vacations, etc. Your lawyer can advise you on how to handle this type of highly conflictual situation.
6. Keep track of everything.
If the other parent does not show up during their call, write it down. Also write the date and time of the phone calls and write down the conversations (if possible). If you plan to consult a lawyer, they will need these types of documents. If you want to record telephone conversations, first ask a lawyer for advice.
7. Take your child to a psychologist
In highly conflicting parenting situations , children understand more than you might think. Even young children can be very sensitive to their parents’ behaviors.
It is natural for a child to have the impression of being behind the behavior of his parents. It is also more likely that your ex will start to behave narcissistically towards the child at this point – for this reason, it is important that your child sees a psychologist.
There are child psychiatrists who specialize in working with children. There are also professionals trained to manage this type of highly conflicting parenting situation. Check in your custody agreement, if both parents are obliged to give their consent so that the child can go to consult.
Don’t be surprised if your spouse refuses to let your child go to see him, or if he takes him to see someone he considers more “adequate”.
8. Don’t argue with the narcissist. You will not win.
Don’t let him see your fights. Narcissists revel in seeing you in bad shape and upset. Repeat to yourself this: I am calm, calm and I control myself. Do what’s best for your child. It should not be stressed more. And if really, you find yourself in a situation where you need to tell his 4 truths to your ex-husband (wife), ask yourself: is it best for my child ?
9. Watch out for narcissistic triggers.
Your child starting to be independent can be problematic for the narcissistic parent. For a narcissist, an independent child awakens in him a feeling of abandonment. Beware, your child’s new independence can lead to an increase in narcissism.
Also, as you have surely learned, narcissists tend to spoil the holidays. If you think this may be the case, do not hesitate to take preventive measures to protect yourself.
10. Take care of yourself.
Raising a child with a narcissist can be extremely stressful. For this reason, be sure to take good care of yourself. Sport, writing (secure and password protected), meditation and spending time with friends are all ways to relax.
In order to take good care of your child, it is important that you take good care of yourself first. Are you also looking for a psychologist – sharing your concerns with a neutral third party can be extremely helpful.