Advice for raising children with a narcissist.
This is an extremely complicated and tricky issue, for those who have children with the narcissist, as a narcissist doesn’t co-parent, they counter-parent, as they don’t care for the damage they cause to the children’s emotional welfare, as all a narcissist is interested in, is getting their own needs met, which they feel entitled to do as they please and lack the empathy to care for how their behaviour affects others, they will just shift the blame away from themselves by telling the children it’s the healthy parent’s fault. If a narcissist is late, they blame you to the children, if they move straight in with someone new they blame you, when they are a no show they blame you, they’ll make plans directly with the children, let the children down. The next time they see the children, they will gaslight the children into doubting reality as they’ll find a way to blame you.
The narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum, so some will still see their children. Some narcissists are far too dangerous, you need to gather as much photographic, video evidence, and a written diary, whilst keeping yourself and your children safe, as you can never truly predict how far those who lack empathy will go. You need to make 100% sure you cover all tracks, and they can not get hold of this information.
If you’re leaving never tell the narcissist in person, get out safely and take the children, contact your local domestic violence helpline for guidance in your area, so you take the correct steps.
If you are out and they still see the children, do not count your child as an oversensitive or overreacting, children feel the same around narcissistic people as you, if they are showing signs of anxiety or depression, even if they are the stubborn scapegoat child, they need help and support to work through their feelings.
As hard as parenting is anyway, you can not tell them any white lies like you’ve run out of sweets because you don’t want them to have more, you have to be upfront and honest, about everything, know why you’re saying no and explain your reasons for a no, so you have to think very carefully before you say no, as you have to stick to facts and reasons.
It’s extremely hard, in the beginning. Still, you have to become the most positive person you can around the children to teach them to learn the difference for themselves. We don’t always teach our children with our words, more often than not they create their beliefs around our actions, self-care is a must, one emotionally stable parent can raise an emotionally stable child, if you need to reach out for help, this teachers child it ok to ask for help, however asking for help is the first step, next you have to do the work for you, based on what helps you.
Never ever talk badly of the other parent, no matter what the children are saying, or what the children are saying regarding the lies the other parent had told them. You must stick with, asking your children what they think, and just explain that people different opinions that people are entitled to explain they are allowed opinions and minds of their own, instead of telling them what many people think of narcissistic people, this is their parent when you talk badly of smother to a child, fact or fiction, children can learn it’s ok to speak negatively of others when their narcissistic parent is destroying their self-esteem, we have to teach them that they are enough. They are more than capable of learning how they do and do not want to be treated, life skills, listen to them, ask how things make them feel, why they think it’s wrong or right, tell them they are enough, praise them, don’t belittle mistakes we all make them, ask them what they’ve learned, teach them empathy simple things like “how did that make you feel.” Listen and hear what they say, show them you understand them, don’t give them your opinion, teach them the values of respect, and also how they want to be treated, boundaries for themselves, I a child upsets them tell them things like. “if you don’t like what a friend says tell them, if they do it again tell a grown-up, if they do it again, explain you will not be treated that way and to leave you alone, if they do it again tell a grown-up, try to sort for yourself first, yet if you can not let them know they must tell you, so you can do all you can to help.” We have to teach children how to handle life’s problems, and challenging people exist, we also have to teach it’s ok to ask for help.
Teaching them, how to respect themselves and others, if they turn into the school bully, this will be because they’ve gone into fight mode, from all the mind games the narcissist parent plays, let them know how they feel is normal, and they need to open up so you or someone else can help.
You need to make sure more than other parents do, that the children understand empathy and can put themselves into others shoes. Ask them “how would you feel if someone did that to you.” Kids are smart and will have lots of answers. Only you truly know your child and how to handle it.
Again keeping a diary.
Limit contact with the other parent, if that’s once a year, once a month or once a week, only FaceTime or Skype, your children need a good few days in between speaking to them, to stay in the reality zone.
If the narcissist has walked out on them, it’s extremely tough. Still, you have to keep your standards high and lower your expectations of the narcissist. It is a blessing in disguise as hard as it feels; you have to understand the narcissist does not feel love or empathy for the children in the way that you do.
If it’s a narc mum you’re dealing with, try to have the children as often as you can, never react to her, and do your utmost not to wind the narcissist up, it is extremely difficult to do, it will become easier, you need to say things like. “I’ll have the children so you can have a break.” You have to remember you’re doing it for the children, not her. However, the narcissist needs to think it’s for them.
You need to surround the children with as much positivity and female role models as you can. You have to let the narcissist believe they are winning when in reality you are as you see the children more, therefore your children see you more.
If it’s a narcissist dad, try your best to let them pick the routine, so they believe they have full control, to make life easier for you and the children, surround them with as many positive male role models as you can.
Keep all communication in writing, never show the narcissist any emotion. Also, make sure your reactions are kind even if you don’t feel like being kind, you’re doing it for your children’s future, I know this is extremely hard to start out, it gets easier.
The narcissist will try swapping days, dropping early, dropping late anything they can to get a reaction out of you. Do not react to them. Instead, lower your expectations of the narcissist compassion towards the children, and have a backup plan. Narcissistic mums will go all out to remove you from the children’s lives if they haven’t abandoned the children with you, narcissist dads will also try to gain custody, this is why it’s vital you keep a diary.
Let the kids join as many activities as you can afford, helps with making friendships, learning their own lives, let off steam, build character in what the children enjoy doing.
Teenagers are tricky at the best of times, do not give in if they are being unreasonable, but do not argue, let them know you are always there to support no matter what, and they are entitled to have their own mind.
Keep an extremely close eye on the children’s mental health. If it gets to the point you can not counteract, you will have to go no contact, most will take you to court, why it’s vital you have all communication via email or messages and printed off.
Let the police know everything the narcissist does, restraining orders if needed.
If they come home all over, let them, let it out, so it doesn’t stay within them, give them a time frame, then get an activity done, dancing, watching a movie, reading a book, anything to get their minds back on track.
If the narcissist has managed to take the children, use your free time to get on your feet and get those children back safely.
It hard but once you let go of your expectations of the narcissist, it becomes easier not to let their games annoy you and not to react instead you’ll be putting that time and energy into you and the children.
The narcissist and their children.
The narcissist’s scapegoat and golden people.
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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.