Does narcissistic bad abuse behavior increase in the summer?

Does narcissistic bad abuse behavior increase in the summer? It is truly difficult to know from one minute to the other what will trigger the narcissistic co-parent increase in moments of high risk, some of these factors might contribute to changes in their behavior during summertime.  Here are a few possibilities:

  1. A change or Disruptions in routines: The summer, and its parenting schedule, often bring changes in routines, such as vacations, summer camps, or extended periods of time away from school. These disruptions can unsettle narcissistic individuals who thrive on control and predictability. Consequently, they may react with increased frustration or negative behaviors as they struggle to maintain their desired level of control. (Demanding their “time” and then enrolling the child into overnight camp or leaving the child with other family members) 
  1. Increased contact or co-parenting conflicts: If the narcissistic co-parent spends more time with the child during the summer, there may be an escalation of conflicts or power struggles. They might use this opportunity to exert their influence, manipulate situations, or engage in harmful behavior as a means of maintaining control or gaining attention. (Conflict over clothing and other necessary children’s items and controlling the communication with the other parent are increased.  Not informing the other parent of the child’s whereabouts or changing location or deliberately lying about plans to put the other parent (usually the custodial parent) in a moment of high risk. )
  1. High expectations or competition: Some narcissistic individuals may view the summer as a time to showcase their abilities, accomplishments, or superiority over others. This can lead to heightened competitiveness, excessive self-promotion, or even attempts to undermine the other co-parent’s efforts to create a positive summer experience for the child.  (Competing might not be in your awareness but narcissistic are always in competition, and if you’re the parent left holding the bag of responsibility and financially abused by the narc ex then emotionally you might feel triggered by their extravagant lifestyle without any parental awareness nor responsibility~  Try to avoid the normal response of comparing.  Remember the saying Compare and Despair while using the mantra “All is well, I know this feeling and release it”. To bolster your own well-being.  Read my blog Don’t freak out! But, it’s okay if you do.
  1. Lack of external structure or supervision: If the narcissistic co-parent has less oversight or external accountability during the summer, they might feel emboldened to engage in more problematic behaviors. They may feel less constrained by societal norms or legal agreements, leading to an increase in manipulative or harmful actions.   *Read more about moments of high risk and creating toolbox strategies for a safety net for you and your children. 

It is important to note that not all narcissistic co-parents will exhibit these behaviors during the summer, and some individuals may show consistent behavior regardless of the season

However, if you are dealing with a narcissistic co-parent and notice a pattern of increased negative behaviors during the summer,* it could be beneficial to anticipate and plan accordingly, focusing on strategies to maintain boundaries, communication, and the well-being of your child.  

Remaining proactive with self-care and having systems in place with your child for their emotional, physical, spiritual and mental well-being. 

*Moments of high risk with a Narc ex are uniquely yours.  What happens within the relationship is you lose the inner trust and clarity that you have had all the time! But when the relationships shift this clarity and trust come back even stronger.  (even if you don’t feel this right now) You know what the triggers are and know when the ex’s behavior will increase.  The question I ask myself is “Is this a moment of high risk for my children?  For Myself?”  Just having the awareness of the interactions shifts you out of reactionary to taking appropriate action.   And survivors know, within the long term required contact boundaries and self-care is the most important practice. 

You ARE not alone. Reach out for support and sign up for a complimentary initial coaching session.  You can also watch the Divorcing Intact One Day Event on my youtube channel.   Please share if you think someone else can benefit from this article.

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