Raising children with a narcissistic ex isn’t always easy.
People with narcissistic personality traits or just hard to deal with people don’t like boundaries, and they want to be in control.
Abusive partners do not make good parents.
One of the most essential things to set up, for yourself and your children’s sanity, is boundaries.
Start A Routine, so you and your children know exactly where you are and when this helps to develop a healthy mind.
This can seem like an extremely hard thing to do with these narcissistic people at the start. You will more than likely get a barrage of abuse from them as they feel like they are losing control, remember to a narcissist nothing is ever their fault. You’ll be told things like, “You’re damaging your children, you’re keeping them apart, you’re playing games, you’re crazy.”
Try to remember when you get these. You are NOT keeping them apart; you are keeping your children’s mental health safe.
You are NOT damaging your children. You’re helping them grow into strong, healthy adults and surrounding them with as much love and support as you can.
You’re not playing games. You’re trying to counteract the damage your ex causes with their games.
Whatever they send to you, try to turn it into a positive which isn’t easy. Things like. This is why we need routine, boundaries, and parenting apps.
More often than not, these people will not turn up on some pre-arranged days or continuously try to swap things around, as narcissists like to cause drama, they also want to provoke Reactions, so they can blame you, especially in front of witnesses as a narcissist wants to regain control of your life and mind.
If they manage a personality transplant and prove they will show up for children when they say, then yes sometimes people are busy. You can make allowances to swap, but if they fail to show up for your children no need to make allowances for someone who will not make allowances for their own children.
You may need to swallow your pride and not worry about how they take this next step. If at all possible, you need to try and get them to think the routine was their idea. If they send you a list of dates, they want to see the children, and it fits in with your children’s daily lives. Say yes. Tell them what a brilliant idea that is from them. It’s hard when you know what they are like. But one parent needs to step up for the children. This way, you get less backlash from the ex as they believe they got what they wanted and had a great idea. When in reality, you got what you and your children needed without any negativity. Yes, it’s hard to swallow your own pride when you know exactly what the ex is like, think how beneficial it is not to get belittling messages from them. Your children get to see both parents, and you have a routine. I know it’s not easy to do. Sometimes safeguarding issues are too big and the children can not see the narcissist.
Children will thrive with one happy, positive parent.
The key to boundaries and routine is sticking to them. That can be very hard when dealing with people on the narcissistic spectrum, and you will have your moments of taking a step backwards.
When they’re coming at you for reactions, hang up the phone, close the door. Say No. do not let them in your home.
If they threaten you in front of the children, then arrange to meet in a public place when the children are due to visit them. Or ask a family member to do pickups and drop-offs.
If needed, get a restraining order, or non-molestation order. But make sure you put in that they can pick up and drop off children at Pre-arranged times. It’s more normal for the children for the other parent to pick them up from home if this is possible. They can contact you regarding picking up and seeing your children only, choose one method, email, message, messenger etc.
Messenger is good because you can put them into an ignore box and only go to it when you are calm enough to read what they’ve sent.
Remember the order isn’t about the children, it’s about them staying away from you.
For some, with the narcissist’s abuse and manipulative games no contact is the only way to go.
If the children do see the narcissistic parent, it’s hard but do your absolute best to stick to the routine and the boundaries, and it will not take long before you see the benefits of this for your children and yourself. If they don’t see their toxic parent, either because the narcissist isn’t interested or safeguarding is too significant, stay happy, and stay positive, then the children will thrive.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
More on boundaries.