Struggling to stay calm during discussions and trying to avoid getting into arguments with your ex-spouse can leave you exhausted.
Learning how to effectively co-parent with a narcissist can not only help you avoid stress but can also allow you to be a better parent for your children.
Build up your boundaries
According to Psychology Today, one tactic many narcissists use is trying to guilt you into doing what they want. This can mean endless calls on the phone when you are the one taking care of the children or subtle comments meant to tear down your self-esteem.
Being clear about your boundaries, such as what times you want to talk with him or her, can help you. Remember to focus on your children’s needs first and not get distracted by arguments over minor issues.
Learn to ignore
Your co-parent may try to get you to argue with him or her about old problems from years ago. Expecting these conversations can help you avoid getting upset or overwhelmed by them.
Prepare for this kind of emotional manipulation by doing activities in your free time to lower your stress, such as exercising or spending time with friends. This can help you approach each talk with a relaxed mindset.
Watch out for your children
Your co-parent may attempt to influence your children by lying about you or purposefully ignoring rules you both mutually agreed to, such as when bedtime is or how much dessert the children can have. This can result in a tense relationship that a narcissist can take advantage of.
Learning how to respectfully deal with a co-parent who is using these tactics can help you avoid unnecessary stress.