Narcissists use their children for repeated triangulation.
Some narcissists regard children as a threat and a hindrance to their gains. Some simply don’t use children for their own gain. Some narcissists class their children as competition that has come along to steal their limelight. These often walk away from the child and most often never return unless they see something to gain for themselves in doing so. Those that stay find baby’s pathetic and will most often not offer to help out, as they don’t see why they should do so unless someone is watching them or they have something to gain by helping out, such as selling others an illusion of what a great parent they are. Some narcissists just see the child as taking the spotlight away from themselves. Those types will often avoid having children in the first place, as a lot don’t agree with contraception, females will abort, and then the male will put pressure on the females to abort. Some do end up having children.
Some see having children as a benefit. They believe the other parent of the child will never indeed be able to escape them.
They also believe and will use the children to get an emotional response from the child’s other parent. They use the child to get attention from the child and attention from others.
Those narcissists who decide to have children are far higher than those who do not have them.
Narcissists use having a child to hook someone to them and use the child for their own gains, possible the main reason they chose to have children. They also believe that they will live on through their children.
Those who have children with a narcissist, not knowing what they are, will often stay longer in an abusive relationship for the sake of those children, as it’s usually subtle emotional abuse and financial abuse keeping them trapped longer. Our beliefs that children should have to parents together, as well as housing situations and finance, does make it harder to leave but not impossible if we take it step by step. A child is far happier in a one-parent household than a toxic one.
Then when they do get out, still not knowing that the ex is a narcissist, they often endure years of torment. While, the narcissist triangulates the children. Some try to get custody of the children, dragging people through the courts, painting you like the crazy one, some will not turn up, or promise the children lots to fail to deliver, leaving you to pick up the pieces. As we have empathy, we put the children first, believing they have a right to see the other parent and at first try to play fair. Some narcissists are far too dangerous and can not see the children. However, we soon learn they will not play fair, so we create boundaries and routines, which of course, the narcissist hates as they lose control, but the children have to be put first.
Sometimes once you realise just how abusive they are, as you may be worried the children might turn into a narcissist, or you left as you didn’t want the children around abusive behaviour. The narcissist is now being abusive towards you when collecting the children or mentally abusive when they have the children. You have no choice but to stop all contact. A lot of narcissists will then take you to court.
If the children do still visit the narcissist.
Then to the narcissist, the children are just an extension of themselves, and they will only see them if they believe they have something to gain. They may even go over the top spoiling them when they have time with them, as the narcissist loves all the positive energy. They will try to anger the children if needed if they think they need to gain more control over them. They will triangulate the children against each other, and they will triangulate them against you.
They will sulk at children if they feel criticism from the children, the narcissist might shout at the children, or fall silent on the children and cut contact of themselves, neglecting the children’s emotional health, often returning to see the children when they believe the children will now Conform and provide positive attention again, or if the children are needed for the narcissist to play the role of top parent and show off to someone, at this point a narcissist will idealise and love bomb their children, shower them with gifts, attention, affection and support. The narcissists reward punish.
Any achievements the child has, the narcissist will take credit for, any failure the narcissist will shame the child, find a scapegoat to blame.
The narcissist will smear the child’s other parent or grandparents, siblings to the children. The narcissist will blame the ex for why the relationship ended to the children.
They will happily tell the children you are too regimented and strict, in the hope to turn the children against you. Most will not have any form of routine or discipline ￼with the children. The narcissist will condition their children to fawn to the narcissist’s demands.
Some narcissists will not pay maintenance to support their children. Some narcissists will show others just how amazing they think they are and how bad you are that they pay, and you’re unreasonable not allowing the narcissist to see the children much or not at all.
Narcissists do not feel the need to be responsible or accountable for the children’s needs. They just use the children to meet their own needs.
They do not spend time with the children for their needs, only if it fills the narcissists’ needs.
If the narcissist knows that the children sleeping over upsets them or you, they will fight through the courts to gain that access.
If you let them know that they can have the children overnight, they will not bother with having the children overnight. Or they will cancel last minute if they know it’ll ruin your plans.
So how best to protect the children if they see the narcissistic parent. Grey rock.
All communication about the children via email or text only.
Prevent any face to face contact between yourselves. Get a child arrangements order, where the narcissist can pick up and drop off the children at Pre-arranged time, done via message, and can only message about the children.
If you do see them face to face, give them no emotional reactions. If you give emotional reactions, they will keep doing what they are to the children to get them from you, again. If they smear you to the children and you respond, they’ll do it all the more, no reactions from you and they’ll stop the smearing game as it’s not working how they’d hoped. Do not smear the other parent to the children. This just confuses the children, and they often report to the parent that will then twist the words and use them all the more on the children. The narcissist does not care if your reaction is direct or not. The things to say to children if they ask or want a conversation about what’s happened with the narcissist.
“We are not all the same, and people just do things differently.”
“We are all entitled to our own opinions.”
“Not everyone understands why boundaries and routine are a good idea, and that’s ok.”
“You’re allowed to think for yourself.”
“You are enough.”
“Don’t make things worse than they are, or better than they are. See them for what they are.”
Listen to the children, as they will not feel heard with the other parent, reassure them if you need to defend yourself about what the other parent had said, do not go into detail about your side of the story, or smearing the other parent to them, say things like.
“ well, that’s your parents’ thoughts. Mine are different. We are allowed to think for ourselves and have a different opinion to others.”
“If that’s how they feel, that’s fine. You can only control how you think.”
Then have a dance around, a good giggle, forget about the narcissist’s comments and carry on happily. Find something that picks you and the children up, comfort them, read a story cuddled up, watch a Funny movie, whatever works for you and your children.
Make sure everything you do have to say to the narcissist is businesses like, to the point and as above, no emotions.
They will then try to provoke you in lots of different ways to get a reaction from you. The more you give no reaction, the more you’ll be aware of what move they’ll use next. Remember, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so.
A lot when getting no reactions from you. Will lose all interest in the children.
They will not change, they will not listen, you can not control them as such, no reactions and no emotions is the only way to take control of the situation, observe as they up their games, once they’ve cycled around, you see just how manipulative and childish they genuinely are.
Stay as positive as you can around the children. This will counteract the narcissists’ negative influences.
Think about the long term. Over time the children will see the negative parent who talks rubbish about the positive parent for what they are, no matter how much they spoil them with gifts if your narcissist splashed out on them.
The children, over time, will see who the positive parent was understood and listened to them.
Allow the children to make their own minds up, which can be hard with some of the stunts the narcissist pulls, remember, what the children say isn’t what they think. It’s just the narcissist’s influence. In the end, your efforts will be worth it.
Children do not want to be stuck in between two parents. They will learn when older.
If they ask, when they are older, you can show them any evidence you need, if they ask, so keep all messages, if possible print them.
If there are serious safeguards issues, then you will need to stop contact. The narcissist will not see any wrongdoing. So do not approach the narcissist as they’ll delight in you’re the reaction, so seek the help you need from others.
Remember, if you approach a narcissist regarding any issues with the children, health, school, behaviour that doesn’t conform to the narcissists ideal, then it’s not happening, or it’s all your fault. As of course, anything that doesn’t suit the narcissist’s reality is “ all your fault. “ “you’re driving the child crazy.” “You need a mental evaluation.” “I’m calling social services on you.” “ I’ll evaluate the child.” You’re not going to get anywhere by communicating with a narcissist about this, other than further worry, stress, anger, resentment, frustration and the narcissist uses all they can to get at you, as they believe you’ve criticised their ideal perfection. Just stop the conversation, stop responding to the narcissist carry on focusing on your and your children’s mental and emotional health.
Stop responding to the negative narcissist and become more positive for yourself and the children. You just have to weather the storm, it gets easier, and it gets to the point for some, where you pity the narcissist for they can never be happy.
Finding the funny side of their unbelievable behaviour, which can be difficult to start, yet once you do, it gets easier.
It’s hard at first, but you get to the point you do not need to react, as what the narcissist says and does you see clearly through them and no longer care.
If you do have to go through court or social services, make sure those helping you know about narcissist personality disorder. Do not diagnose to the judge.
If you’re at the start of this, don’t worry about any mistakes and setbacks, we all do this. It’s normal human behaviour. Just weather the storm until it all becomes second nature. It is something you have to learn, and once you do, it becomes easier.
Remember, you’re going to feel defensive around offensive people. Narcissists require your attention, and one way they get this is by getting you to defend yourself to them.
Retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so.
Another method is getting them to level up, and you have to be in a good place to do this. You are focusing on the end results.
Video for no contact, grey rock and level up.
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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.