Thursday, August 30, 2018

Best Practices For Parenting With A Narcissistic Sociopath

Divorces and break-ups always suck especially when kids are involved. It's confusing to them and sometimes they even blame themselves for mom and dad fighting so much. It's never easy and certainly never fun. You have to figure out the whole co-parenting thing. Who gets the kids when and how, who pays for what, who is the custodial parent..etc.? Attempting to co-parent with a narcissistic sociopath will never, ever be easy and will most likely be a horrendous nightmare.

parenting, narcissist, narcissistic sociopath, sociopath, kids

In a perfect world (we all know there is no such thing -- if there was, people wouldn't divorce!) parents would share time and responsibilities of all kids involved. There would be a set schedule and each parent would follow the schedule as well as working out any bumps along the way. The two parents can work together and get along for the sake of the kids and put all the bad shit behind them.

Yeah. That's not going to happen with a narcissist.

Co-parenting with a narcissist is almost impossible.

Why is it damned near impossible? Because of a narcissist's selfishness. They can't love anyone but themselves, not even their own flesh and blood children. They may play the role of a good parent for a limited amount of time so that they can show off their kids and brag what a great parent they are to others around them.

They may agree to a schedule, in the beginning, to put on a good face, but they will get tired of having to do the whole parenting gig and will begin making excuses not to see their kids or bring them home early. They still want to be in control so they will attempt to change the schedule around whenever they feel like it and if you don't agree with the changes, they will then threaten and manipulate you to try to maintain that control.

When it comes to the kids, they will attempt to manipulate and control them as well.

A few examples from my own personal experience: when we were going through our divorce, my ex-husband would tell our kids that they HAD to make a choice where they wanted to live -- my house or his house, and that they were old enough to make that decision, but they had to choose.

There is no set age in our state for kids to choose where they want to live, and they should never have been told that they had to choose between us. They were very upset about this and would come home from his house crying.

Another example. Our kids are teenagers now. There have been times where the kids would tell him that they loved him and his response would be, "No, you don't. If you loved me, you would come see me." (This was after he moved out of state and he hasn't come to see them in 2 years). OR when our boys chose to not talk to him anymore, he would tell our daughter that if the boys don't start talking to him, he is going to take me back to court and get custody of them so they will have to live with him. All manipulation tactics.

A narcissist also will most likely not help financially with supporting their kids (unless forced) because it is their way of hurting the other parent instead of helping their offspring.


They do not understand the concept of unconditional love and nurturing. They will even bully their own kids into doing what they want them to do, and just like he did with us, once the child begins to see him for what he is and attempts to stand up to him, he will become more of a bully to the kids and to you. No matter what, it will always be YOUR fault.

I believe that a child should have both parents in their life, as long as both are good, nurturing parents. Unfortunately, the courts don't see mental/emotional abuse as abuse when it comes to parenting rights. If a parent physically abuses a child, then they may take away their parenting time or at least force supervised visitations. When it comes to manipulating and controlling narcissistic parents, they don't seem to have a problem with it. This means that if you have court ordered visitations, you most likely will have to enforce the visitations (unless the child is old enough to choose), despite knowing how much the other sociopath parent is hurting the kids. If you don't, you can be in trouble and go to jail.

I've talked to adults who have narcissistic parents. They have all said that the narc parent was never there for them and they have no type of relationship with them now as an adult. Many of them haven't seen their parent in years.

The narcissistic parent just can't figure out why their kid doesn't want anything to do with them. They will most likely blame the other parent for "brainwashing" them into believing that they are a bad parent. They will never, ever look into a mirror and admit to any wrongdoing. They will take responsibility for nothing. It will never be their fault. They tried to be a great dad but the other parent wouldn't let them. It's always the same story.


It's impossible to actually co-parent with a narcissist which I explained a little above. You can never depend on a narc to help out or be there when you or the kids need him. They will withhold things, threaten, and manipulate, so it's really not possible to co-parent with them.

From my experience, the best way to parent with a narcissist is to make a schedule and/or a parenting plan and stick to it. If the other parent doesn't follow through, or can't stick with the schedule, then they lose out.

If you are going through the courts, they will expect you to come up with a schedule that both of you can agree on (many times, the narc parent won't agree, but the court may enforce it anyway, depending on the situation and the judge).

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS as a parent. My ex used to never show up on time to pick up our kids and would expect me to sit around and wait for him to show up for literally hours. If I had plans and couldn't wait around, he would then threaten to call the cops on me and/or take me to court for contempt for not letting him have has his kids on his weekend. I usually gave in because I didn't know my rights and was scared of getting in trouble.

I'm sure all states have different rules/laws, but you need to learn them. For instance, my state's rules are that if the other parent is over 30 minutes late for picking up the kids, without discussing it prior, they then forfeit that visitation. So, those times when he would show up 2 or 3 hours late, I didn't HAVE to let him take the kids, and his threats didn't mean shit. It just took me a while to figure out what the rules were, and once I knew my rights, he would become even angrier because he knew he wasn't in control any longer.

Another example is that he and his wife were planning on a week-long vacation. He told me that I was the one who had to find a babysitter (and pay for one) that week while they were gone and argued with me that it was my responsibility. That was until I read up on the laws and learned that if he goes on vacation, it would be his responsibility to find and pay a babysitter for the kids during his scheduled time with them.

Educate yourself and know your rights so that they can't manipulate you! Make sure that the other parent knows the rules also. Stick with the set schedule and don't change it, unless, of course, your kids really want to see their other parent or there are other extenuating circumstances.

Limit your communication. I chose to only speak to my ex-husband through text, that way I always have proof of things he said and any manipulation tactics he tried. I also saved a lot of screenshots just in case they were needed for court because we all know a narcissist will deny any wrongdoing, even in court under oath. If your child is old enough and has their own phone, the narc parent can keep in contact with them that way instead of going through you, just keep an eye on it that he's not trying to manipulate.

When the narc ex decides to start drama (and you know he will) don't play into it. Send one short message saying something like, "the law state that if you are more than a half hour late without prior notification, you forfeit your visitation" and leave it at that. Don't play into the games, don't argue and don't respond to their threats. Stand your ground. They love getting a reaction out of you, so don't give them that pleasure.

Steps To Understanding The Mind of a Narcissist (click for more info)

While going through court, we used an app called the Family Wizard. Our lawyers and Guardian Ad Litem had access to all of our conversations. It was amazing how polite and kind he was while using this texting app compared to how he spoke to me any other time! This is a great tool while dealing with the court system, and the judge can make a ruling that he only contacts you through the Family Wizard and can get in trouble if he contacts you another way. It can save a lot of unnecessary stress!

Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself, your kids, and what is right. Don't let him manipulate you into doing things his way or threaten you to get his way. Put your foot down when you have to and don't be afraid to stand up to him. Your kids are what matters the most, and he will do many things in an attempt to hurt you without caring how he is hurting his children in the process.

As your kids get older, they will see him for what he really is, and they will know who was there for him, and who only showed up when it was convenient. Kids aren't stupid and they will eventually be able to see right through him. Unfortunately, you're going to be stuck with dealing with this narcissistic parent for many years, but these things can help you get through the rough times.

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